5.5/10
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19 user 11 critic

Burning Annie (2004)

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The story of a college student with an "Annie Hall" addiction trying to make his new relationship work.

Director:

Van Flesher
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Lundy ... Max
Sara Downing ... Julie
Kim Murphy ... Beth (as Kim Murphy Zandell)
Brian Klugman ... Charles
Jay Paulson ... Sam
Rini Bell ... Amanda
Todd Duffey ... Tommy
Kathleen Rose Perkins ... Jen
Jason Risner Jason Risner ... Scott
Carrie Freedle Carrie Freedle ... Sara
Keith Page ... Mark
David Hall David Hall ... Andy
Alex Bolano Alex Bolano ... Young Max
Evan Price Evan Price ... Adolescent Max
Jaisey Bates Jaisey Bates ... Amy
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Storyline

A dark comedy about Max, who thinks Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" is a cautionary tale about the futility of romance. Just as he begins to suspect the movie is ruining his love life, his world is turned inside-out by a girl who just might be the modern equivalent of Annie Hall herself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Max built his world around "Annie Hall." Now, only one girl can prove life doesn't have to imitate art. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

West Virginia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Armak Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the punk-rock band playing in the college bar is "Anhedonia." "Anhedonia," a psychological term meaning the inability to be happy, was Woody Allen's working title for Annie Hall (1977) See more »

Goofs

When Max is describing his group he says Sam is the "Alpha male" of the group, which primarily consists of "zeta males." The implication is the other males would be the lowest social caste, but that would be the "omega males" because Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. Zeta is the 7th letter. See more »

Quotes

Julie: I get the sense there's a whole other side to your personality.
Max: Uh, well, I hope he's a better dancer.
See more »

Connections

References Dogma (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Breakdown
"Nothing"
Written By Tommy Fitzpatrick
Performed By A Place of Solace
Appearing Courtesy of A Place of Solace
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User Reviews

 
better than I expected; smart and sharp insights into the college relationship experience, and a clever homage to boot
11 February 2007 | by rpchristalSee all my reviews

Few films can come close to the fun and charm and class of Woody Allen's best romantic comedies, but Burning Annie does everything it can to come close on its low-budget, DV-style. It was made on the cheap, but there's a lot of heart put into it, and the characters end up being in some wider depths of range than expected. There's the insecurities faced, the shallowness, the admittance of guys as potential 'failures', albeit out of a kind of lackadaisical malaise college brings on, and how relationships- cliché included here- are hard work. Max (Gary Lundy) tries to break off from his biggest hang-up, which is watching Annie Hall like it was going out of style. For him it starts to seem as some kind of crazy sign that he cant hold on to relationships due to the movie. So he stops watching it after his last girlfriend left him. Enter in Julie (Sarah Downing), who apparently, according to his friends is a bit like the Annie character. Can he deal with this, or will he finally succumb to the bliss of a person he likes to be around with, his neuroses attached and all. Maybe there's only so much of Allen in Max, and by the end he has to get to terms with what's really in him and what's not in being with those he wants to be with.

What makes the comedy rich is in the simplicity and expectations. The latter could be a problem, but the actors are fairly capable of taking on some of the nuances of Zack Ordynans's script. The friends of Max- Charles, Sam, Tommy- veer sometimes into becoming caricatures, but they get pulled back by the realities of their lives (college doldrums, there own dysfunctional attachments and ties with the opposite sex), and they all usually get their own piece of character depth. I really liked specific moments in such characters in homage-style to Woody's film, like when the guys are in the store, and suddenly it spins over to the other side of the store, breaking the 'fourth wall', seeing the uneasiness of an awkward admittance from one to another that they like the other. It's been seen many times over, but it's clever in the actors simple marks on what their characters are about from scene to scene (fairly consistent, especially with the completely insecure Max as played in average manner by Lundy). I also loved the dinner scene where all the couples came together, only to see how things could crumble so easily in social situations.

Themes end up coming out well enough too even through the occasionally weak direction (a shot or two is pleasant enough, with some good tinting, but it's best when the director just lets the actors have their way with the material). Commitment, both to the other in a relationship is one of them, but not just in the rudimentary sense always, and Max's own two-sided self that becomes in conflict when hapless wit has to contend with more stable, down-to-earth emotions. The script is aware of not just the effect of pop culture on college kids (the Kevin Smith and Goldeneye dialog is pretty sweet), but of the labels brought out in such situations. Not that it's always completely successful; the ending felt a little on the uneasy side due to what happens in motivations between Julie and Max, as well as the dialog in the last dorm scene with the guys. But for the most part Burning Annie has charm to spare, even through typical scenes like at a rock club, and quiet little moments like playing hockey video-games and with a few great zingers put in there: "ooh, Snow Dogs." It's a little indie 'rom-com' that strikes much better at its narrow goals when compared to sociopathic case-studies in the guise of believable Hollywood relationship fodder. 7.5/10


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