Woody Allen's seminal 1977 romantic comedy "Annie Hall" is not only
laugh-out-loud funny (with some of the most quotable dialogue ever
written for the screen...this is the "Casablanca" of comedies, folks)
but also sweet and charming (due in large part because of Diane
Keaton's smashing performance as the title character, the flighty
singer from Wisconsin with a quirky fashion sense and "neat" outlook on
life) without ever turning trite or sappy like so many romantic
comedies tend to do. Allen wisely deconstructed the genre with his
non-linear story-line (something that was later done to even greater
effect with a more recent and profound look at relationships, "Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") and charming little theatrical tricks
like talking to the audience or pulling extras into the scene for their
opinions on what's been going on. It keeps the viewer off guard and
allows for a free flow of comedic and philosophical ideas that might
otherwise not have found their way into a more traditional film.
In his latter years, Allen's best work has been when he is not part of the cast (my personal favorites being "Bulletts over Broadway," "Sweet and Lowdown," and the recent "Match Point"). "Annie Hall" was made in his heyday when he could still pull off playing a neurotic New York Jewish comedienne with charm and panache. There's something innocent and benign about his obsessions here, as this was long before the Woody/Soon-Yi fiasco and the days of grossly miscasting himself against younger female co-stars. Yes, Mr. Allen has been artsier (witness "Manhattan") and more satirical (witness "Zelig") but here, with Diane Keaton as his muse, he was never more charming or funnier.
Action / Comedy / Romance
Action / Comedy / Romance
Alvy Singer, a forty year old twice divorced, neurotic, intellectual Jewish New York stand-up comic, reflects on the demise of his latest relationship, to Annie Hall, an insecure, flighty, Midwestern WASP aspiring nightclub singer. Unlike his previous relationships, Alvy believed he may have worked out all the issues in his life through fifteen years of therapy to make this relationship with Annie last, among those issues being not wanting to date any woman that would want to date him, and thus subconsciously pushing those women away. Alvy not only reviews the many ups and many downs of their relationship, but also reviews the many facets of his makeup that led to him starting to date Annie. Those facets include growing up next to Coney Island in Brooklyn, being attracted to the opposite sex for as long as he can remember, and enduring years of Jewish guilt with his constantly arguing parents.
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September 06, 2011 at 01:14 AM