IMDb > Whatever Works (2009)
Whatever Works
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Whatever Works (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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Whatever Works -- An eccentric older man (David) encounters a Southern belle (Wood) and promptly falls in love. But how will the couple, her family, and his New York City friends mix?

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   50,270 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
Woody Allen (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Whatever Works on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 2009 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A middle-aged, misanthropic divorcée from New York City surprisingly enters a fulfilling, Pygmalion-type relationship with a much younger, unsophisticated Southern girl. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Refreshingly original See more (155 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Larry David ... Boris

Adam Brooks ... Boris' Friend

Lyle Kanouse ... Boris' Friend

Michael McKean ... Boris' Friend
Clifford Lee Dickson ... Boy on Street

Yolonda Ross ... Boy's Mother

Carolyn McCormick ... Jessica

Samantha Bee ... Chess Mother

Conleth Hill ... Brockman

Marcia DeBonis ... Lady at Chinese Restaurant

Evan Rachel Wood ... Melody

John Gallagher Jr. ... Perry
Willa Cuthrell-Tuttleman ... Chess Girl (as Willa Cuthrell Tuttleman)

Nicole Patrick ... Perry's Friend

Patricia Clarkson ... Marietta

Henry Cavill ... Randy

Olek Krupa ... Morgenstern

Ed Begley Jr. ... John

Christopher Evan Welch ... Howard

Jessica Hecht ... Helena
Lindsay Michelle Nader ... Television Voice (voice)

Armand Schultz ... Television Voice (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steve Antonucci ... Flea Market Shopper (uncredited)

Marc Alan Austen ... Photo Gallery Patron (uncredited)
Julie Basem ... Cafe Waitress (uncredited)

Kenneth Edelson ... Gallery Guest (uncredited)
Gabriel Nussbaum ... Concert Goer (uncredited)

Chris Nuñez ... Concert Goer (uncredited)

Quincy Rose ... Guy on Bench (uncredited)

Robin Rose Singer ... Indie Rocker (uncredited)

Directed by
Woody Allen 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Woody Allen (written by)

Produced by
Letty Aronson .... producer
Brahim Chioua .... executive producer
Charles H. Joffe .... co-executive producer
Vincent Maraval .... executive producer
Helen Robin .... co-producer
Jack Rollins .... co-executive producer
Stephen Tenenbaum .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Harris Savides 
 
Film Editing by
Alisa Lepselter 
 
Casting by
Ali Farrell 
Laura Rosenthal 
Juliet Taylor 
 
Production Design by
Santo Loquasto 
 
Art Direction by
Tom Warren 
 
Set Decoration by
Ellen Christiansen 
 
Costume Design by
Suzy Benzinger 
 
Makeup Department
Robert Fama .... key hair stylist
Gail McGuire .... hair stylist
Linda Melo .... makeup artist (as Linda Melo-Danzo)
Rosemary Zurlo .... key makeup artist (as Rosemarie Zurlo)
 
Production Management
Helen Robin .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dan Majkut .... dga trainee
Murphy Occhino .... second assistant director
Richard Patrick .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Kenneth Brzozowski .... key carpenter
Kathleen Dolan .... assistant property master
Virginia Gifford .... scenic artist
James Granger .... art department assistant
Daniel K. Grosso .... leadman
Beth Kuhn .... assistant art director
Glenn Lloyd .... art department coordinator
Ann Durnin Mckendry .... set dresser
Ann Miller .... property master
Nicholas J. Mongelli Jr. .... chief construction grip
Thomas Nousias .... scenic artist (as Tom Nousias)
Mark Pollard .... additional graphic artist
Jon Ringbom .... master scenic artist
Manny Sanchez .... carpenter
Elizabeth Schlitten .... assistant property master
Cliff Schorr .... stand-by scenic artist
Andrew Spagnoli .... set dresser
Jennifer B. Starke .... assistant set decorator (as Jennifer Starke)
Rodney Sterbenz .... set dresser
Richard Tenewitz .... construction coordinator
Dana Wilson .... scenic artist
Joseph Ziegler .... stand-by carpenter
Jane Patterson .... set dresser (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gary Alper .... production sound mixer
Ryan Collison .... foley engineer
Lee Dichter .... re-recording mixer: Sound One Corp.
Pete Fonda .... boom operator
Matthew Haasch .... foley editor (as Matt Haasch)
Robert Hein .... supervising sound editor
Thomas Kodros .... sound consultant: Dolby
Sylvia Menno .... dialogue editor
Glenfield Payne .... sound effects editor
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Jason Stasium .... cable person
Damian Volpe .... sound effects editor
David Wahnon .... sound editor
 
Visual Effects by
Randall Balsmeyer .... visual effects supervisor: Big Film Design (as Randy Balsmeyer)
Dana Bloder .... digital opticals producer: Technicolor, NY
J. John Corbett .... compositing supervisor: Big Film Design
Charles Lapage .... digital compositor
Jesse Morrow .... digital opticals: Technicolor, NY
David Piombino .... digital compositing: Big Film Design
Adrienne Winterhalter .... visual effects producer: Big Film Design
 
Stunts
Peter Bucossi .... stunt coordinator
Don Hewitt .... stunt double: Boris (as Don Hewitt Sr.)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Christian Baldi .... lighting technician
Matt Balzarini .... second assistant camera
Adriana Brunetto-Lipman .... camera loader (as Adriana Brunatto)
Greg Canicio .... best boy rigging grip
Joel Carucci .... key rigging grip
Marcel Ciurea .... grip
Rashad Clinton .... rigging grip
Doug Dalisera .... key rigging electric (as Douglas Dalisera)
Russell Engels .... gaffer (as Russ Engels)
Robert K. Feldmann .... grip
James W. Finnerty .... key grip (as James Finnerty Jr.)
Kevin Fraser .... key grip
Timothy Healy .... electrician
Patrick Johnson .... rigging grip
Richard C. Kerekes .... dolly grip
James Mah .... best boy electric (as Jim Mah)
Jessica Miglio .... still photographer
Tim Norman .... first assistant camera
Christopher Purificato .... best boy grip (as Chris Purificato)
Kyle Rudolph .... camera operator
James F. Walsh .... shop electric (as James Walsh Sr.)
Kevin Walsh .... best boy rigging electric
 
Casting Department
Karen E. Etcoff .... extras casting: Kee Casting
Maribeth Fox .... casting associate
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Bill Tripician .... extras casting associate
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Danajean Cicerchi .... costume supervisor
Jeff Fender .... costume assistant
Nicholas McManus .... costume production assistant
Marco Piemontese .... costume assistant
Stephen Kyle Wesson .... set costumer
Scott Westervelt .... costume supervisor
Patrick Wiley .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Terry Claborn .... color timer: Technicolor, No. Hollywood
Mo Henry .... negative cutter
Kate Rose Itzkowitz .... assistant editor
Morgan Neville .... first assistant editor (as Morgan A. Neville)
Tim Stipan .... digital opticals colorist: Technicolor, NY
Brian Umana .... editing intern: dailies
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor: Technicolor, NY
 
Music Department
Jill Meyers .... music clearances
Roy B. Yokelson .... music recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
John Canavan .... transportation co-captain
Eugene O'Neill .... transportation captain (as Gene O'Neill)
 
Other crew
Deborah Alexander .... assistant: Mr. Tenenbaum
Abby Bailey .... assistant production accountant
David Bellarosa .... production assistant
Theo Brooks .... production assistant
Laura Comerford .... insurance: AON/Albert G. Ruben, Inc.
Angela Cutrone .... additional production assistant
Leo Driver .... parking coordinator
Bill Garvey .... location scout
Tom Glick .... production assistant
Michael J. Harker .... completion bond representative
Rebecca Hawkes .... technical services: worldwide, Schedule 2
Shani Hinton .... legal services: Jitterbug Law
Sophie Holland .... production assistant
Adrianne Jorge .... projectionist
Elizabeth Klenk .... second assistant location manager
Scott Kordish .... production coordinator
James Lesage .... set production assistant
Phillip Leung .... production assistant
Jessica Lichtner .... script supervisor
Pietro Lorino Jr. .... production accountant
Gine Lui .... location scout
Liz Magee .... production assistant
Suk Yi Mar .... location scout (as Suk-Yi Mar)
Richard McCune .... production financing: City National Bank (as Richard V. McCune)
Soren Miltich .... set production assistant
Kathryn Minogue .... stand-in
Christie Mullen .... location manager
Brian Papworth .... set production assistant
Erik Piecuch .... production financing: City National Bank
Emma Pindar .... technical services: worldwide, Schedule 2
Lynn H. Powers .... assistant location manager
Regina Scott .... additional production assistant
Jeff Sedwick .... additional production assistant
Colby Shrefler .... location assistant
Joshua Shull .... location assistant
Nate Shull .... location assistant
Susan Silas .... location scout
Lora Sorrentino .... set production assistant
John Spady .... second assistant location manager
Laura Streicher .... assistant: Mr. David
Peter Tavis Jr. .... production office assistant
Irwin J. Tenenbaum .... legal services: Loeb & Loeb
Melissa Tomjanovich .... assistant: Mr. Allen
Amy R. Trachtman .... assistant production coordinator
Kelly Trivigno .... payroll accountant
Caroline Turner .... publicity: Hyperactive Publicity
Joseph Turner .... set production assistant
Sawyer Williams .... production secretary
Liam Doyle .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Michael Bloomberg .... thanks (as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg)
Antoine Douaihy .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance: "Marietta's Photographs" - Female Figures, "Untitled #1" through "Untitled #12" and Male Figures, "Untitled #13" through "Untitled #18" (as Antoine L. Douaihy)
Cristobal Gabarron .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance: The Gabarron Foundation artwork by
Neil Girardi .... thanks
James Hickey .... thanks
Greg Johnson .... thanks
Robert Lee Morris .... thanks
Katherine Oliver .... thanks (as Commissioner Katherine L. Oliver)
Peter Som .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, brief nude images and thematic material
Runtime:
USA:92 min (Tribeca Film Festival) | Argentina:92 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Alberta/British Columbia/Manitoba) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | France:U | Germany:12 | Hong Kong:IIB | Ireland:15A | Japan:PG12 | Netherlands:6 | Norway:A | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:M18 | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12A | USA:PG-13 (certificate #44832)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Like Allen's later film "Blue Jasmine," this film takes several cues from Tennessee Williams's Streetcar Named Desire. Marietta, a Southern woman visiting the big city, echoes Blanche DuBois in several ways, including being horrified at the apartment Melodie lives in and being coy about her drinking. At least one of her lines ("You are not the gentleman I was expecting") is a direct homage to "Streetcar."See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 god racket, big money.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
References A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)See more »
Soundtrack:
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 'Choral' - Molto VivaceSee more »

FAQ

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69 out of 99 people found the following review useful.
Refreshingly original, 4 July 2009
Author: Craig McPherson from Montreal, Canada

If ever a movie could be described as an allegorical rendition of a director's life, Whatever Works just might top the list.

Marking Woody Allen's return to his native New York City after a four picture hiatus in Europe, the movie tells the story of Boris Yellnikoff, played by Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), the only actor working in Hollywood today who most closely approximates Allen himself in look, mannerisms, and philosophical outlook. Afflicted by numerous neuroses, Boris has become the ultimate pessimist, seeing life as one long water slide ride into an eventual cesspool. So bleak is his outlook that he becomes convinced that suicide is the only option, but even that cheap out fails him.

Fed up with the world, Boris turns his back on much that society has to offer, instead spending his days teaching chess to kids while publicly humiliating them at every opportunity. Yes, Boris isn't a happy camper, and takes pride in it. The fact that he's managed to maintain a core of four friends is a miracle in and of itself.

Then one day fate causes him to cross paths with Melodie St. Ann Celestine (played by the delightful Evan Rachel Wood), a country bumpkin runaway from the backwoods of Louisiana. She is Jethro Bodine to Yellnikoff's Einstein. A complete intellectual and generational opposite. Love at first sight it isn't, but given the axiom that opposites attract, Boris soon finds himself falling for the much younger siren (cue the Allen parallels).

While some critics have complained that much of the dialog comes across as stilted and unnatural (which it does), Whatever Works unravels more like a stage play than real life, which, I think, is how Allen meant it. As writer and director, he has lots to say here and refuses to allow such trivialities as natural delivery stand in the way. This isn't to say that the performances are wooden, but rather that nobody talks like Yelnikoff in real life, and I'm good with that. What's important here are the ideas, constructs and situations that Allen infuses in his characters.

Interestingly, while much of the movie's theme focuses on the serendipity of life, and thumbs its nose at the divine, the film can easily be viewed from both the atheistic and spiritual viewpoint, particularly given how events unfold in a seemingly manipulated manner.

While not Allen's finest work, Whatever Works will appeal to those who enjoy a light romantic comedy, particularly one that provokes a few sparks from our grey matter, while delivering its laughs.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This movie is A LOT BETTER than 'Midnight in Paris' lateacher
Glaring grammatical error aalbert
Creepy male fantasy ruens-2
Patricia Clarkson as Marietta iammariian
they simply do not make movies like this anymore hunterk221
What IS the worst Woody Allen movie (asks a fan) kipconlon-1
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