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
The movie inspired the song, "Remember Manhattan", released on Richard Marx's debut album. See more »
Mary (Diane Keaton) is supposed to be an intellectual, but when she says the name Diane Arbus, she mispronounces it, saying "Diane" the same way you would say Diane Keaton. Diane Arbus' first name is pronounced "Dee-Ann". 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'm nineteen years old and I've watched this film through the eyes of a girl of the 2015. I can honestly say that I've been very impressed by the detached and ingenious sarcasm with which Allen depicts a generation, his generation.
In Manhattan I've seen first of all the portrait of a generation, the generation of those who lived their forties in Manhattan, the symbol of everything that could be achieved in the 80s. And the portrait depicted is not softened at all, since every single adult in this movie is a neurotic mess. There are adults afraid of cancer, adults that plan to write books they will never end, adults that put their life in the hands of LSD-addicted analysts, adults that talk about orgasms, adults devastated by dull, mediocre men imagined as "gods", adults that waver between homo, bi and heterosexuality, adults that pretend to be intellectuals and try to judge Mozart, Bergman and Scott Fitzgerald, adults whose relationships are stable just as the weather is, adults that act like they believe in the highest values but that in the end need a seventeen-year-old girl to find their balance. And those are the same adults that despise the generation brought up by the TV and the pill.
This show of absurdities is well hosted by Isaac Davis, Woody Allen himself, that unprejudiced as always, hides all these paradoxical situations behind a good amount of irony. If I had to make a comparison with a more recent movie, I would say that what Allen did with his generation has been done by Tony Servillo with the current fifty-year-old Roman VIPs, in his latest work La Grande Bellezza.
Irony, good acting and a good soundtrack always make a movie worth watching. And this movie can boast the best of everything.
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