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.
Forty-two year old Isaac Davis has a romanticized view of his hometown, New York City, most specifically Manhattan, as channeled through the lead character in the first book he is writing, despite his own Manhattan-based life being more of a tragicomedy. He has just quit his job as a hack writer for a bad television comedy, he, beyond the ten second rush of endorphins during the actual act of quitting, now regretting the decision, especially as he isn't sure he can live off his book writing career. He is paying two alimonies, his second ex-wife, Jill Davis, a lesbian, who is writing her own tell-all book of their acrimonious split. The one somewhat positive aspect of his life is that he is dating a young woman named Tracy, although she is only seventeen and still in high school. Largely because of their differences a big part of which is due to their ages, he does not see a long term future with her. His life has the potential to be even more tragicomical when he meets journalist Mary...Written by
In the first scene at Elaine's, as Isaac is beginning to say something, two people (presumably customers of the restaurant, as it was running while they were shooting) walks in front of the camera. Isaac laughs, and quickly recovers with an impromptu remark about how his girlfriend has to go and do homework. See more »
[music: the opening of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Voiceover]
Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Uh, no, let me start this over.
Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on...
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One of the very few Woody Allen films to not have traditional opening credits, save the production company bumper (United Artists), and the film title MANHATTAN is seen as a long vertical flashing bright neon sign, located on the side of a New York City building, and is seen for under seven seconds just before Woody Allen narrates his first line. See more »
I watched Manhattan recently because i had never seen Woody Allen's films and heard this was one of his best.
I can see why people love this film, it certainly is quite original and a convincing snapshot of a group of friends in New York, but I found Woody's character just too excruciating self-possessed and irritating to enjoy the film overall.
I guess you either love him or hate him, but he reminded me of George Costanza on Seinfeld - i just wanted to shake him and say 'get over yourself!'.
As for the humor, there were a lot of attempted wit there but nothing that made me laugh out loud. I won't be a hurry to see any of his other films.
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