MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 218 this week

Whatever Works (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  3 July 2009 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 53,390 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 159 user | 217 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A middle-aged, misanthropic divorcée from New York City surprisingly enters a fulfilling, Pygmalion-type relationship with a much younger, unsophisticated Southern girl.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 06 Dec 2010
 
a list of 35 titles
created 27 Mar 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 10 Nov 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 12 Mar 2014
 
a list of 22 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Whatever Works" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Whatever Works (2009)

Whatever Works (2009) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Whatever Works.

User Polls

3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sally's parents' marriage breaks up when her father undergoes a mid-life crisis and impulsively weds a prostitute as Sally's own marriage also begins to disintegrate.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The tale of two brothers with serious financial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go bad and the two become enemies.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg
Scoop (2006)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American journalism student in London scoops a big story, and begins an affair with an aristocrat as the incident unfurls.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Jim Dunk
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two alternating stories about Melinda's (Mitchell) attempts to straighten out her life.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Will Ferrell, Vinessa Shaw, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Téa Leoni, Bob Dorian
Anything Else (2003)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jerry Falk learns that lesson the hard way when he falls head over heels in love with a beautiful but flighty girl, Amanda.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci
Match Point (2005)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for a femme-fatal type who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Greg Stebner, Woody Allen, John Tormey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love...

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Boris' Friend
...
Boris' Friend
...
Boris' Friend
Clifford Lee Dickson ...
Boy on Street
...
Boy's Mother
...
Jessica
...
Chess Mother
...
Brockman
...
Lady at Chinese Restaurant
...
...
Perry
...
Chess Girl (as Willa Cuthrell Tuttleman)
...
Perry's Friend
...
Edit

Storyline

Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff rants to anyone who will listen, including the audience. But when he begrudgingly allows naive Mississippi runaway Melodie St. Ann Celestine to live in his apartment, his reclusive rages give way to an unlikely friendship and Boris begins to mold the impressionable young girl's worldly views to match his own. When it comes to love, "whatever works" is his motto, but his already perplexed life complicates itself further when Melodie's parents eventually track her down. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, brief nude images and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

3 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Woody Allen Project  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$266,162 (USA) (19 June 2009)

Gross:

£203,555 (UK) (2 July 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen claims he casted Larry David because it's one of the few comedians that makes him laugh. See more »

Goofs

When Boris and Melody discuss the female leads in Gone With The Wind, Boris says that Scarlett has green eyes. If you watch Gone With The Wind, you will see that Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) has blue eyes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boris Yellnikoff: That's not what I'm saying, imbecile. You guys completely misrepresent my ideas, why would I even want to talk with those idiots.
Boris' Friend: Just calm down.
Boris' Friend: That's not true, Boris.
Boris Yellnikoff: No, don't tell me to calm down, I am calm. Just stop.
Boris' Friend: Don't jump on us just because we don't understand what you're saying.
Boris Yellnikoff: I didn't jump on you. It's not the idea behind Christianity I'm faulting, or Judaism, or any religion. It's the professionals who've made it into corporate business. There's big money in the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Tonight
Written by Paul Taylor and Angela Maria Engelman
Performed by Angela Maria Engelman
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Whatever Works Movie Review from The Massie Twins
1 July 2009 | by (www.GoneWithTheTwins.com) – See all my reviews

A perfect blend of Woody Allen's views on love and relationships and Larry David's pessimism of life and the imbecilic, Whatever Works won't appeal to those who can't find humor in the morbid recesses and sarcastic ranting of these two comedians' minds, but everyone else will revel in the darkly misanthropic philosophies. Though this perverse fable may wrap up a little too neatly for those less inclined to believe in optimism for such an ensemble of decadent misfits, viewers with the right amount of indifference towards decency won't object, as long as they aren't one of the mindless zombie masses so scathingly scolded in the cynical social commentary.

Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David) rants to anyone who will listen, including the audience. But when he begrudgingly allows naive Mississippi runaway Melodie St. Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood) to live in his apartment, his reclusive rages give way to an unlikely friendship and Boris begins to mold the impressionable young girl's worldly views to match his own. When it comes to love, "whatever works" is his motto, but his already perplexed life complicates itself further when Melodie's parents eventually track her down.

It may be written by Woody Allen, but it certainly feels like Larry David's material. Regardless of who's channeling who, the biting humor in the film is simply hilarious; it's surprising how much fun can be had from watching a character who positively abhors life, people and interaction. Boris may not be relatable, but he's wickedly sarcastic and intelligently despicable. The conclusion may be a bit too tidy to be interpreted as much more than a cynical comedy, but the supporting actors and clever dialogue creates a set of disillusioned protagonists that are easy to watch.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is the odd-couple pairing of elderly Yellnikoff and the hopelessly naïve twenty-something Melodie. Extreme differences in age and social standings have been explored in Allen's previous films, but both characters are so delightfully polar opposites that seeing them together is refreshing. They're two runaways on a mission to fulfill the illusion of meaning, one a self-proclaimed genius, the other a foolish, feeble-minded cretin with a heart of gold. Add to that the nonstop sophomoric tirades on religion, sexuality, mortality, marriage, the presidency, racism, human existence, and chess, and you've got an overload of pessimistic insights posing as genius. It may not be a feel good movie, but it's convincingly ridiculous and it absolutely works.

  • The Massie Twins



32 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Creepy male fantasy ruens-2
Glaring grammatical error aalbert
What IS the worst Woody Allen movie (asks a fan) kipconlon-1
Was this the worst WOody Allen movie, or what?? ogg77
This movie is A LOT BETTER than 'Midnight in Paris' lateacher
they simply do not make movies like this anymore hunterk221
Discuss Whatever Works (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?