7.2/10
66,297
176 user 192 critic

Whatever Works (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 3 July 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A middle-aged, misanthropic divorcée from New York City surprisingly enters a fulfilling, Pygmalion-type relationship with a much younger, unsophisticated Southern girl.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sally's parents' marriage breaks up when her father undergoes a mid-life crisis and impulsively weds a prostitute. Meanwhile, Sally's own marriage also begins to disintegrate.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin
Scoop (2006)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American journalism student in London scoops a big story, and begins an affair with an aristocrat as the incident unfurls.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Jim Dunk
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The tale of two brothers with serious financial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go badly and the two become enemies.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two alternating stories, one comedy and the other tragedy, about Melinda's attempts to straighten out her life.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Will Ferrell, Vinessa Shaw, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Téa Leoni, Bob Dorian
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Greg Stebner, Woody Allen, John Tormey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden
Anything Else (2003)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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
Stars: Woody Allen, Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci
Match Point (2005)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for an actress who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Larry David ... Boris
Adam Brooks ... Boris' Friend
Lyle Kanouse ... Boris' Friend
Michael McKean ... Boris' Friend
Clifford Lee Dickson Clifford Lee Dickson ... Boy on Street
Yolonda Ross ... Boy's Mother
Carolyn McCormick ... Jessica
Samantha Bee ... Chess Mother
Evan Rachel Wood ... Melody Celestine
Conleth Hill ... Brockman
Marcia DeBonis ... Lady at Chinese Restaurant
John Gallagher Jr. ... Perry
Willa Cuthrell ... Chess Girl (as Willa Cuthrell Tuttleman)
Nicole Patrick ... Perry's Friend
Patricia Clarkson ... Marietta
Edit

Storyline

Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff rants to anyone who will listen, including the audience. But when he begrudgingly allows naive Mississippi runaway Melodie St. Ann Celestine to live in his apartment, his reclusive rages give way to an unlikely friendship and Boris begins to mold the impressionable young girl's worldly views to match his own. When it comes to love, "whatever works" is his motto, but his already perplexed life complicates itself further when Melodie's parents eventually track her down. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, brief nude images and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 July 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Woody Allen Project See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$266,162, 21 June 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,306,447, 30 October 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,097,815, 12 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The house in which Boris Yelnikoff (Larry David) lives with his first wife is the same one used for the house in which Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Chloe Hewett Wilton (Emily Mortimer) live in after they got married in Match Point (2005). See more »

Goofs

Melody says she is from Mississippi and that her parents moved there from Louisiana. She also refers to living in Plaquemines County. There is no Plaquemines County is Mississippi. In Louisiana, where there are parishes instead of counties, there is a Plaquemines Parish. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boris Yellnikoff: That's not what I'm saying, imbecile. You guys completely misrepresent my ideas, why would I even want to talk with those idiots.
Boris' Friend: Just calm down.
Boris' Friend: That's not true, Boris.
Boris Yellnikoff: No, don't tell me to calm down, I am calm. Just stop.
Boris' Friend: Don't jump on us just because we don't understand what you're saying.
Boris Yellnikoff: I didn't jump on you. It's not the idea behind Christianity I'm faulting, or Judaism, or any religion. It's the professionals who've made it into corporate business. There's big money in the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Animal Crackers (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 'Choral' - Molto Vivace
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Courtesy of Extreme Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It works
29 November 2009 | by ryancmSee all my reviews

This is Woody Allen's best film in years. Hard to believe some people didn't like it. Mr. Allen is in top form here and it would have been great seeing Allen play Allen, although Larry David is good. The real stars of the movie are Evan Rachel Wood and the great, wonderful, terrific Patricia Clarkson. She is one of our greatest living character actress's working today and hope to see her in many more films. She adds class and perfection to everything she does.

The story could have been quite discomforting with a young girl and man old enough to be her almost grandfather. But somehow it works as we are not witness to anything inappropriate, not even a kiss. Even though David plays an unsympathetic role (and nobody actually talks like that), he's still fun. The evolution of the Evan Rachel Wood character is wonderful.

There are a couple of neat twists at the end and it all ties together for a very happy ending. See this for Woody at his best.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 176 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed