Hannah, Holly and Lee are adult sisters from a show business family, their boozy actress mother who still believes she's an ingénue that can attract any man she wants, despite still being married to the girls' father, Evan. Hannah, on her second marriage to a man named Elliot, a financial advisor, is the success of the family, taking a break from her acting career to raise her children. Everyone turns to her for advice, while she never talks to others about what she needs or feels. Her first husband, Mickey, is a comedy show writer and hypochondriac, who is going through a crisis as he mistakenly believes he will die soon without a clear belief, as a non-practicing Jew, of what will happen to him in the afterlife. Single Holly is the insecure flaky sister, a struggling and thus continually unemployed actress, who has just started a catering business with her actress friend April, in order to do something constructive with her life. In her own security, Hannah even set up Holly and ... Written by
Part of the film's structure and background is borrowed from Fanny and Alexander (1982). In both films, a large theatrical family gather for three successive year's celebrations (Thanksgiving in Woody Allen's film, Christmas in Ingmar Bergman's). The first of each gathering is in a time of contentment, the second in a time of trouble, and the third showing what happens after the resolution of the troubles. The sudden appearance of Mickey's reflection behind Holly's in the closing scene also parallels the apparition behind Alexander of the Bishop's ghost. Additional parallels can be found with Rocco and His Brothers (1960), which, besides the connection to its name, also uses the structural device of dividing sections of the film for the different siblings' story arcs. See more »
Dolly tracks are visible when the camera pulls back in the living room. See more »
God, she's beautiful. She's got the prettiest eyes. She looks so sexy in that sweater. I just want to be alone with her and hold her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and take care of her. Stop it you idiot, she's your wife's sister. But I can't help it. I'm consumed by her. It's been months now. I dream about her, I - I - I think about her at the office. Oh Lee, what am I gonna do? I hear myself moaning over you and it's disgusting. Before, when she squeezed past me at...
See more »
Woody Allen makes movies that will sometimes be partial duds with great lines and characters, and then he'll make an all around great movie like Manhattan, Sleeper or Deconstructing Harry. In the 80's, he had a period where most of his films were generally great (Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy might be the exception). But this is one of the gems in that period, a comedy with great acting matched with a finely tuned screenplay.
Though not without an ending that leaves everything a little too neat (however upon pressure from the studio, not Allen's original intentions of course), this is another relationship-centric picture, with the side-bar of Woody's character being chronically afraid of death and what comes after it. Deservedly his last big award winner, it's a possibility for my favorite Woody 80s movie (even if the experience in the theater sucked- the downside to seeing an Allen movie is the large amount of old people, and the occasional old man who sits very close with a constantly shifting candy wrapper, smacking lips, and a penchant for a horrible sinus conditon...just think who the fans of Woody movies will be then they croak).
57 of 81 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?