Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
Alvy Singer, a forty year old twice divorced, neurotic, intellectual Jewish New York stand-up comic, reflects on the demise of his latest relationship, to Annie Hall, an insecure, flighty, Midwestern WASP aspiring nightclub singer. Unlike his previous relationships, Alvy believed he may have worked out all the issues in his life through fifteen years of therapy to make this relationship with Annie last, among those issues being not wanting to date any woman that would want to date him, and thus subconsciously pushing those women away. Alvy not only reviews the many ups and many downs of their relationship, but also reviews the many facets of his makeup that led to him starting to date Annie. Those facets include growing up next to Coney Island in Brooklyn, being attracted to the opposite sex for as long as he can remember, and enduring years of Jewish guilt with his constantly arguing parents.Written by
The film was intended to be a period comedy set in Victorian London. See more »
Given the sound of the roasting pot on the stove, there is no water in it when Alvy drops in one of the (dead) lobsters. See more »
[addressing the camera]
There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. The... the other important joke, for me, is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I ...
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Christopher Walken's name is misspelled in the credits as "Christopher Wlaken". See more »
Woody Allen's puerile comedy reaches a true dramatic climax through a bit of unintended irony in the often-discussed "movie line" scene. In this scene we witness one pedant criticizing the pedantry of another in the middle of what is essentially a 90 minute diatribe. This scene sets up the remainder of an unbelievably hubristic film in which we will watch Woody (Why does he bother calling himself Alvy?) promoting the person he admires most. I'm still trying to understand how some might construe an assembly of self-consciously scripted one-liners as a coherent story. The humor in this film was so contrived that I began waiting for drumrolls after lines like "I never undress in front of a man of my own gender" and even began to wonder if a few years in Manhattan would see Rodney Dangerfield swapping jokes with Allen in an onstage partnership. By the time Woody uses all of the affect he can muster to pull off a suddenly sentimental closing scene, I refused to believe that he actually felt capable of evincing some sort of emotional response from the audience. Pathos is never a temptation for the viewer who is simply not interested in Woody Allen's life or those of celebrities in general.
As for the purported technical brilliance of the film (obnoxious postmodern pandering), I found it to be a hackneyed hodgepodge of Nouvelle Vague tricks pulled off with much less tact. For the sake of comparison, a film that does pull all of these elements together in a brilliantly funny and emotive package is Truffaut's "Shoot the Piano Player." "Annie Hall" was my first Woody Allen film and will probably be the last.
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