Movie Review: Annie Hall

 annie-hall      tumblr_ljkjgqFExE1qcv2ye

            Woody Allen has been given the title of auteur because of the enormity of his craft.  He writes, directs, and often times stars in his own films.  As such, Allen has had a huge influence on films of today and his intellectual bantering back and forth, in terms of dialogue, can be quickly and easily identified in other films when studying his work.  After viewing the film, Annie Hall, the first film I saw parallel to was the eighties film, When Harry Met Sally, written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner.  I found their similarities to be uncanny and just like Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally is filled with exceptional one-liners, Manhattan as its backdrop, and fantastic style worn by Meg Ryan’s character Sally.  In fact there is a scene where Meg Ryan is dressed almost identical to Diane Keaton’s iconic cross dressing, quirky outfit in Annie Hall.

              There seems to be a common thread in Jewish humor that pokes fun at the neurosis that exists in the family, relationships, the constant kvetching about life, and its much absurdity.  You see this same type of humor from Woody Allen to Rob Reiner to Jerry Seinfeld to Larry David.  All of these writers write about the frustrations of daily living, with themselves often times as the butt of the joke.   Even Rob Reiner started his writing career on a show that he also stared on, All in the Family.

As in both films, the dialogue is even more memorable then their clothing.  The idea that “men and woman can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way” became a common part of the dating vernacular as well as just common knowledge when it came to human behavior, in the eighties and nineties (and still valid today).  Further, who can forget some of the other great lines, “three huge guys, one of them wearing a t-shirt that says, don’t fuck with Mr. Zero”, or “I came here tonight because when you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”.  When Harry Met Sally as in Annie Hall is filled with brilliant, funny, and heart felt dialogue.  The one difference is that in the end, Billy Crystal’s character gets the girl, however Woody Allen’s character does not.  Yet, most people will agree that they are both equally delightful and they show that sometimes you live happily ever after together and sometimes happily alone, but either way, love is worth shooting for.

          Works Cited

Mast, Gerald & Kawin, Bruce.  A Short History of the Movies. 11th Ed. Pearson Education, Inc., 2008. Print

Video viewed in class:  Annie Hall

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