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
When Isaac asks Tracy how old he will be when she is thirty-six, she says "sixty-three," and he agrees. Earlier Isaac says that she is seventeen and he is forty-two, which means he is 25 years older than her, and would therefore be sixty-one, not sixty-three. 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 »
On the basis of one viewing about 20 years ago, I always considered this my favorite Woody Allen film. Upon further review, I am not so impressed. The cinematography is wonderful (I'm a sucker for New York, too), the acting is ok (Mariel Hemingway better than ok), and there are some good one liners, but, overall I found it boring and self-indulgent, especially in the directing. This film has no real reason for being...it's ultimately inconsequential. That makes me sad and now I have to watch my other favorites to see if they hold up. I still have hopes for Hannah, Misdemeanors, Purple Rose, & Love & Death. This one isn't in the pantheon anymore.
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