As I continue to choose movies that are recognized as classics that I’ve never seen before somebody veto the next time I pick something from the 70s. Annie Hall isn’t a bad movie but to borrow from Sonny Carolla it just didn’t move the needle for me. The first half hour is the strongest of the movie and we get to see some of Allen’s wit while at the same time his neurotic jittery nature hasn’t worn you out yet. My first attempt to watch Mindy made me turn it off because she couldn’t handle him anymore and I totally get it. I also get why some people really enjoy it. I think you have to be in the proper mindset and setting to maximize Woody Allen. I finished it last night while tired and running the dishwasher in the nearby kitchen. Tired and noisy is not ideal for Woody Allen, you need quiet and focus to catch his phrasing while he is ranting to be able to catch the jokes. Because of that I may try to watch another of his movies in a better mindset, Tom recommended Manhattan Murder Mystery the other day.
Let’s break down a couple of takeaways- the 4th wall. I’m not a guy who is firmly pro or con on breaking the 4th wall but I hated it in this movie. It was ok in the intro where he describes himself but once he got into the story it didn’t fit- more annoying than that was when things would happen and he would talk to random strangers on the street about what they think about his situation, most annoying of that is the extras would get in line to provide their commentary and sometimes they’d be used sometimes not every time he did it is pissed me off with 1 exception. When he was in the movie line loudly complaining about the guy standing behind him who teaches at Columbia, it was funny that he went over to the actual person who shut down the expert. This worked for me because it reminded me of the movie Back to School starring Rodney Dangerfield. In that movie Rodney plays Thornton Melon the owner of a chain of Big and Fat stores who joins his son in college and joins the diving team. He hires experts to do his homework including Kurt Vonnegut himself to write a paper about Kurt Vonnegut, his love interest/professor fails him for obviously having someone else write it for him while saying, whoever wrote it doesn’t know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut. It was funnier when Dangerfield did it although I would say he was inspired by Allen.
2nd big takeaway/question. I’ve not seen any other Woody Allen films, does he always play a caricature of the New York Jewish male? I get it he’s Jewish and from New York but does he have any other qualities? Is it his age that pushes that onto screen for him being a young child during WWII?
Lastly and to set up Kissel’s research, the loudest laugh came unintentionally when he compared politicians to child molesters. Granted in 1977 we were 25 years away from controversy with him but damn.
C+ is the meh grade right?