19 February 2009 | Superunknovvn
Woody Allen hits the nail on the head, yet again
"Match Point" was the movie that converted me into a Woody Allen-fan. I had literally hated the man's work, but suddenly I found that these movies really spoke to me more than before. I guess you just have to grow older and get a little life experience before you can appreciate Woody Allen's fabulous writing. Lately, I've been catching up on his filmography and was blown away by his immense power of observation. Out of all his classic movies that I've seen in the past couple of days "Husbands And Wives" made the biggest impression so far. This movie is fearless, honest and true. Allen really hits the nail on the head with this one.
Unlike movies like "Crimes And Misdemeanors" or the aforementioned "Match Point" (which are both great) "Husbands And Wives" isn't laden with symbolism and there are no highly philosophical thoughts to be found. The movie is merely depicting the universal truth that it's tough to remain honest and passionate in a marriage. Masterfully Allen shows his struggling characters in all their weaknesses without ever making them unlikeable. These characters falter between loyalty, fear of loneliness and an undeniable desire for passion. Everybody who's ever been in a longtime relationship will be able to identify with these problems, but only the brave ones will be able to admit that to their partner.
That's the beauty of this movie. Allen says what everybody else is either too afraid or too hypocritical or simply unable to. "Husbands And Wives" shows what the fewest people understand: the egoistical side of "love", the way we cling to relationships because we're afraid of being alone, but also the simple fact that sometimes we need to lose something to understand how much we need it. Even when there's still love we can reach a point where we lie and betray the other person, just because sometimes people are confused about their lives and their feelings.
Nobody has voiced our confusion about love and death as accurately as Woody Allen and he's rarely done it better than here. "Husbands And Wives" is recommendable for everyone, especially couples, but be prepared that watching this might lead to uncomfortable discussions. The truth is hardly ever convenient.