His new movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" deals with women, men and multiple lovers, but when it comes to real-life romance, director Woody Allen, 72, says more than a single sex partner is far too many these days.
"It's hard enough to get one person," he told reporters at a Saturday news conference at the Cannes film festival. "In trying to figure out solutions in life, two tends to make it more complicated than one."
"In film, you can do it because I'm dealing with larger than life characters ... but in real life, most of us could never handle anything like that," he added.
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which looks at several different love relationships including a menage-a-trois, debuted to a warm reception at Cannes as one of the few light comedies here. Many films, such as prison drama "Hunger" and Lebanese war movie "Waltz with Bashir" delve into dark human conditions.
Show business newspaper Daily Variety called "Vicky Cristina" "a sexy, funny divertissement that passes as enjoyably as an idle sunny afternoon in the titular Spanish city" and added the film "is by several degrees more hot-blooded than his (Allen's) usual norm."
Allen said he definitely wanted to make the movie funny, but he also saw it as a somewhat tragic tale of people who can't fall in love, others who fall perhaps too deeply for each other, and those who marry for all the wrong reasons.
YOUNG AND IN LOVE
The movie centers on two American tourists who travel to cosmopolitan Barcelona to spend a summer. One, Vicky (Rebecca Hall), wants to spend it studying a portion of Spanish culture before she gets married, and the other Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is on a constant search for fulfillment.
They both find love, but love comes with complications. In the case of Cristina, her affair with a painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) involves trouble in the form of his ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz), who is also a painter.
While the two -- Maria Elena and Cristina -- initially are rivals, an unconventional relationship strikes up between them and Juan Antonio. At the same time, a trip to Barcelona by Vicky's fiance causes her to rethink her impending marriage.
"I want people to see the romance, and I wanted some laughs," Allen said. "I wanted to see two young women who go to Barcelona ... and gradually things start to disintegrate."
Cruz said Maria Elena was a character she could understand, but the Spanish actress admitted that when it came to romance, "I would probably make different choices in general."
Ever since the filming of "Vicky Cristina" last year, Cruz has been romantically linked to Bardem, although the two have never publicly confirmed their relationship. And again on Saturday Cruz was able to dodge the issue.
When it was implied in a question that he was her "boyfriend," she just smiled, and Allen chimed-in that Bardem did not attend the festival due to a "family problem."
Watch the entire show by clicking "The Cannes Reports" in the right column.
Check out web correspondent Arnab Banerjee’s video blog.