7.2/10
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Whatever Works (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 3 July 2009 (USA)
A middle-aged, misanthropic divorcée from New York City surprisingly enters a fulfilling, Pygmalion-type relationship with a much younger, unsophisticated Southern girl.

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Clifford Lee Dickson ...
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Chess Mother
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Chess Girl (as Willa Cuthrell Tuttleman)
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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:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

3 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Woody Allen Project  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$266,162, 21 June 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,306,447, 30 October 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,097,815, 12 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two Woody Allen films to feature a two word alliterated title. Moreover, both films actually featuring the same first letter in each title word, that being "W". The two films are "Whatever Works" (2009) and "Wonder Wheel" (2017), both made and first released about eight years apart. See more »

Goofs

Melody says she is from Mississippi and that her parents moved there from Louisiana. She also refers to living in Plaquemines County. There is no Plaquemines County is Mississippi. In Louisiana, where there are parishes instead of counties, there is a Plaquemines Parish. 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 ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in American Masters: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Buttmeat Boogie
Written by Kent Buchanon (as Kent Bucchanon)
Performed by Kent Buchanon (as Kent Bucchanon)
Courtesy of Extreme Production Music
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User Reviews

 
See this movie and then read the external reviews
10 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie in a packed cinema and the audience loved it to the extent that many applauded at the end. So I came home, looked it up in IMDb and read some of the review by professional film critics. What I found helps to explain why nobody reads papers anymore and why professional movie reviews are increasingly irrelevant. The critics drooled all over themselves for No Country for Old Man -- a ridiculous blood bath where the bad guy can see through walls, magically find people on the run, and kill repeatedly without raising much more that a mild interest from the local and state police. Yet many of these same critics think the characters in this new Woody Allen film aren't realistic. God save the film critics.

Back to the film. I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at the movies, and I wasn't alone. It takes special talent to direct a movie that is so dependent on perfect comic timing to work, and the actors in this film hit their marks consistently. If there is character in this movie that shouldn't be the subject of study in an abnormal psychology class, I missed them.

If you care about intelligent movies for grown-ups, then you need to support movies like this one.


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