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Following in the light, whimsical vein which has resulted in recent comedies from the endearing Manhattan Murder Mystery to the objectionable Mighty Aphrodite, Woody Allen tries his luck with a musical. Everyone Says I Love You has an abundance of ephemeral, criss-crossing plot-lines but, like many of the cast members' attempts at singing, little harmony or rhythm.

The participants in Allen's Manhattan merry-go-round are Skylar (Drew Barrymore), who is in love with Holden (Edward Norton) until one of his bizarre romantic gestures interrupts their blissful affair and leaves her open to the affections of ex-con Charles (Tim Roth). Meanwhile, Joe (Woody Allen), ex-husband of Steffi (Goldie Hawn), uses secret information to charm Von (Julia Roberts) into coming to live with him in Paris.

The potentially incongruous bursts of song are integrated neatly into the narrative - their main purpose is not to disrupt but to create emotional coherence. Unfortunately, as with much of Allen's recent work, this dressing barely conceals the film's vacuous centre, which Allen seems to regard as a prerequisite for populist entertainment.

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