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Six Woody Allen S.F. Projects That Could Have Been

A posh ex–new Yorker tries to make it on a budget in San Francisco after her life comes crashing down: according to rumors, that’s the rather ho-hum plot of the movie Woody allen has been filming around town. But why waste stars like Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, and Peter Sarsgaard on such a trifle? These story lines are a whole lot juicier.

WHINES AND MISDEMEANORS

A rising-star politician with great hair but anger issues (perfect for Baldwin) sees his career hit the skids when a fight with his fiery Latina wife (an uncredited Penélope Cruz) is witnessed by their bossy, blogging neighbor (Blanchett).  

THE PURPLE ROSE OF THE CASTRO

Trying to reboot his career by going on TV, a former S.F. mayor with movie-star looks and anger issues (Baldwin again) steps out of the small screen and time-travels back to the ’70s. But by saving Harvey Milk and George Moscone and stopping the AIDS epidemic in its tracks, he also ensures that dishy supervisor Dianne Feinstein (Blanchett) never becomes mayor—which means he never will be, either.  

DIRTY HANNAH AND HER SISTERS

In a career-changing role for Blanchett, a wisecracking, radical-feminist private eye (“make my day, male oppressor!”) finds an unlikely ally in the literary ghost of Sam Spade (Andrew Dice Clay, back from career oblivion) as she tracks down a stolen gem-covered statuette known as the telegraph hill parrot.  

SHADOWS AND FROGS

In another of Allen’s black-and-white tributes to German expressionism, a troubled writer (Sarsgaard) goes to a cabin on the Russian River to finish a long-overdue novel, only to become a serial killer as he tries to wipe out an endangered species that won’t let him sleep. With Blanchett as a beautiful bisexual environmentalist and Brit Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) as her long-suffering lover.  

VICKY CHRISTINA PALO ALTO

A pair of divorcées (Hawkins and Blanchett) attend a Stanford class reunion together, both secretly planning to seduce the nerd they dissed as undergrads (Lost’s Michael Emerson), who’s now an Internet billionaire, only to discover that he’s bringing his gold digger companion (Bobby Cannavale) and is about to come out as gay.

 

TO CAFFE ROMA WITH LOVE

Set among the romantic brews of north beach, these intertwined stories tell of an aging barista (Richard Conti) who realizes his dream of singing in Beach Blanket Babylon, a repressed investment banker (Blanchett) who spends her lunches peeking into the condor club and fantasizing about the Summer of love, and a pair of tourists (Hawkins and Louis C.K.) who can’t get over how disappointing the cable cars are.