(1979, Woody Allen)
Perhaps the quintessential Woody Allen movie. In fact, it’s a trip down Woody Lane.
The Woody checklist:
- New York – Um, check.
- Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton or Louise Lasser – Keaton, check.
- Ingmar Bergman references – Check, in the “Academy of the Overrated” scene.
- Marx Brothers references – He names Groucho as one of the reasons why life is worth living.
- Features Woody – Check.
- Features Woody as a writer or movie director – Writer, check.
- Features characters are hopelessly neurotic – Hoo-boy, are they ever.
- Features intellectuals who are ponderous – Yep.
- Features bad marriages or failing relationships – Mm-hmm.
- Features a beautiful girl who’s way too young to be involved with Woody – Mariel Hemingway, who plays a 17 year old. Creepy!!!!
Still, despite all of this, I really enjoyed this movie, especially Keaton and Michael Murphy. And of course, cinematographer Gordon Willis and Woody capture a romantic vision of New York for all times. The first four minutes with Gershwin playing behind are a virtual postcard that the Mayor’s office couldn’t have produced any better.