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Tag Archives: Woody Allen

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger: shows two married couples and what happens when infidelity and ‘real life’ takes over. It’s starting to feel a bit like Woody Allen only has one story, and he just changes the locations, names and occupations of his characters. Once again, the focus is on some ridiculously beautiful, artistic, troubled and self-obsessed middle class people that are quite hard to empathise with. This one struggles, trying to juggle far too many characters and flesh out each of their stories: the divorced female wreck, mid-life crisis pensioner, wife seeking family, disillusioned writer, art gallery owner, exotic love interest, blonde bimbo… As we expect from Allen, there’s some sporadic narration by the most Jewish voice ever, a really adorable ragtime old-fashioned score, and a whimsical / romanticised vibe – although I spent over half of the time shouting in my head “THIS IS NOT LONDON!!” There are some really nice touches; great lines hidden among the script, proper belly laughs and the odd comedy character – like the charlatan. It is enjoyable, but not much more. Don’t get me wrong, I like Allen but he’s been doing this schtick for far too long now.

Score: 5.5/10

Vicky Christina Barcelona: Two girls visit Spain for the summer and get more than they bargained for. Being a Woody Allen film it’s all a bit fruity, especially once the characters become more involved with each other. The relationships and scenarios are pretty grounded and it even gets a bit heavy at times, throwing up questions regarding relationships, morals, love & adultery. The characters are the biggest part of the film and they’re all fairly memorable, either through their looks (Johansson), performance (Hall) or both (Bardem & Cruz!). With the best lines and more conviction the Spanish home team overshadow their visitors. The narrator is a nice touch – and Classic Allen – although he points out the obvious quite a lot, which is annoying… but not nearly as much as Scarlett’s character who walks around photographing everything like a total dickhead. Allen’s definitely found some form in the late naughties, I just hope it continues. Sexy, funny rom-com.

Score: 6.5/10

Whatever Works: follows the story of two polar opposites as they fall in love in New York. It boasts Woody Allen and Larry David but hasn’t even been mentioned in the UK yet – someone sort this out! It’s pretty much what you expect from these two: a patchwork of ‘Curb’ and classic Woody Allen. Larry David plays an angrier and more hateful version of himself, yet his dry and honest dialogue ensures he remains likable – and his chess teachings are immense! There’s a few references to the audience, which is typical Allen, but seems a bit uncool these days. Not much effort has been put in to the characters either: ditsy girl, genius, free spirit, christian etc. Despite this, it’s a great story that’s surprisingly upbeat  and enjoyable to watch. With some laugh out loud moments, New York, bouncy music and a witty script it marks a good return to form – especially following Vicky Christina Barcelona, which was also surprisingly enjoyable. Old school Allen nails a modern Screwball.

Score: 7/10