Review

  • As fond as I am of Woody Allen, his recent films (to be fair, I have not seen many of them) absolutely drive me up the wall. And none of them has turned me off like _Everyone Says I Love You_.

    It has NOTHING to do with the by-now familiar plaint that "oh, Woody _used to be_ so funny." Rather, I am ashamed to admit it is really all about what another (apparently very conservative) poster typed about this film being all about neurotic, upper-crust New Yorkers and their problems.

    Me = big capital L Liberal. No problem here with being in love with the Big Apple, either. The thing is, I _live_ in New York. But not on the Upper West Side -- I live out in South Brooklyn, where life can be truly bizarre, just like a movie, but in a completely different way from the way things are in Manhattan. Check the dinner scene in _My Favorite Year_ for details. It's an exaggeration ... but not that big an exaggeration!

    Woody began to make me itch and squirm somewhere around the second time I saw _Hannah and Her Sisters_. Clever, yes. Well written and acted, absolutely. But no more something I could remotely relate to than any given episode of "Sex And the City." I fear sometimes that this indicates a limitation in me: that I am unable to stretch as a viewer and identify with characters who are not like me. I don't _think_ this is the case, so what is the problem here? Is it my newly found "class consciousness," my sneaking feeling when I walk through tony neighborhoods in Manhattan in my crummy shoes that I am looked at as "riff-raff" even though I am highly educated, etc? I just don't know!

    What it feels like, to me, is that Woody no longer reaches out to speak to anyone but people exactly like him. That leaves me unable to account for the fact that plenty of other people seem to have found this film entertaining, big time. Me, I found it excruciating. There was one line that made me chuckle -- the Alan Alda character saying "Bring me my will, & an eraser."

    Otherwise, I found it intensely annoying, off-putting, self-consciously clever, shallow, self-satisfied, smug and dull. Which made me very sad.