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Anything Else (2003)

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Jerry Falk learns a lesson the hard way when he falls head over heels in love with a beautiful but flighty girl, Amanda.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... David Dobel
Jason Biggs ... Jerry Falk
Fisher Stevens ... Manager
Anthony Arkin ... Pip's Comic
Danny DeVito ... Harvey Wexler
Christina Ricci ... Amanda
KaDee Strickland ... Brooke
Jimmy Fallon ... Bob Stiles
Diana Krall ... Diana Krall
William Hill ... Psychiatrist
Stockard Channing ... Paula Chase
Maurice Sonnenberg Maurice Sonnenberg ... Movie Theater Patron
Kenneth Edelson ... Hotel Desk Clerk
David Conrad ... Dr. Phil Reed
Joseph Lyle Taylor ... Bill
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Storyline

Jerry Falk and David Dobel, who meet at a business meeting, become fast friends. Their commonality is that they are both fledgling New York based comedy writers, largely writing material for stand-ups, are Jewish (although David is an atheist), and are each of bundle of different neuroses. Their big difference is that Jerry is twenty-one, while David is sixty, with forty more years worth of life experience, knowledge and neuroses. While Jerry writes full time - he also working on a novel - David has kept his day job as a public school teacher just in case. In their relationship, David becomes somewhat of Jerry's mentor, providing advice on Jerry's life issues, most which revolve around the fact that Jerry is a product of inertia, he having trouble leaving anyone. That's why Jerry's still with the one and only manager he's ever had, Harvey Wexler. Jerry not only being Harvey's only client (which is a testament to his effectiveness in the job), Harvey also has a 25% take as stipulated ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In any relationship, one person always does the heavy lifting

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of drug use and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France | UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

19 September 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Spring Project 2002 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,673,125, 21 September 2003

Gross USA:

$3,203,044

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,575,809
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (Mono)| Dolby Digital (Mono)| SDDS (Mono)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jason Biggs filmed this during the day, and then performed opposite Kathleen Turner in the revival of "The Graduate" on Broadway in the evenings. See more »

Goofs

When Falk types on his laptop computer, the number of (enlarged) typed lines alternates between five in close-up to just three at a distance. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
David Dobel: You know, there's great wisdom in jokes, Falk, really. There's an old joke about a prizefighter who's in the ring, and he's getting killed, he's getting his brains beat out; and his mother's in the audience, and she's watching him getting beaten up in the ring, and there's a priest next to her, and she says 'Father, father, pray for him, pray for him!' The priest says 'I will pray for him, but if he could punch it would help!' There's more insight in that joke, into what I call the...
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Connections

Referenced in Paris-Manhattan (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

There Will Never Be Another You
Written by Harry Warren & Mack Gordon
Performed by Lester Young
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

It's a film of small ambitions.
29 August 2004 | by feelinglistlessSee all my reviews

Having had to visit Woody Allen's previous two films on Region One dvd (Hollywood Ending and Curse of the Jade Scorpion) it's actually quite a revelation to see the white on black characters appear on a cinema screen -- I'd forgotten how that looked and the anticipation of what the first moments will be as the usual jazz track plays out, it feels comfortable and familiar. And its this familiarity which fuels the film -- for the first time in a while we are back in the Manhattan of the here and now watching a character based story. Although his films have been no less enjoyable lately they have hung on a concept or mcguffin which drives the plot when for me he's always been more comfortable exploring characters within a simpler structure. Which is why Anything Else works so well.

Yet again I find myself rush headlong against general critical opinion. Does it do anything absolutely new? No. Does it at times feel like Woody Allen by numbers? Yes. But it doesn't matter. I would much rather go to the cinema and see something with a script which is half literate with a good 10-15 belly laughs and god forbid actually makes me thing than the usual crud which passes itself off as a smart twentysomething comedy. The magic this time is that despite what poster might being telling you these aren't perfect characters. For once the director lets their mess of neurosis come into conflict and see what happens.

Jason Biggs like most people in their early twenties doesn't know what they want but can't break from the life they've been dropped into (its actually a much stronger performance than people are giving him credit for -- compare his work here to Loser and you can see he's learnt a few things in the intervening years. Woody himself might be the mentor of the piece but he's also a psychoanalytical mess (and the director seems to enjoy not having to carry the film as well as write and direct it -- he's always underestimated his talents but here he's very touching). Christina Ricci is adorable but as a girlfriend would a pain to get along with but for perfectly good reasons (secretly I assumed that the work she does here is similar to what we're missing in the still painfully unreleased Prozac Nation) including her mother played by Stockard Channing (I can't believe she's never been in a Woody Allen film before). The main ensemble is set off my Danny DeVito the gatekeeper to Biggs freedom (oddly also not been through the Woodster mill either before).

It's a film of small ambitions. It plays out against a backdrop of very few sets and locations. A massive amount of the story takes place in Bigg's apartment and on the benches of Central Park. This has the effect of allowing the audience focus on the dialogue. Instead of following the usual route of giving kids hip references which both immediately date a film and clang about to anyone the same age as the characters, Allen instead drops mentions for the giants of literature, philosophy and music. If this is the environment these characters have grown up in and the culture they've been exposed to they're hardly going to start talking about Britney Spears (although do look out for a cameo by a contemporary music artist). Which is I suppose what makes it so involving. We're watching someone else's world and getting lost there. No one complains about Middle Earth, so why all the back biting about this version of Manhattan?


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