Woody Allen is back! It is what most people say after seeing this film, I disagree with this expression, Woody Allen has never been away. I am a fan of his European films including his last films like “Vicky Christina Barcelona” and “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”, films that have received mixed criticism. I haven’t seen “Whatever Works”, the film takes place in New York. I would say that this film is a confirmation of Woody’s geniality, it has all the classic components that he ahs handled beautifully before, notions like the play of the real and the fantastic like in “Purple rose of Cairo” or “Stardust Memories”. ----Paying homage to a city; making it a character in the film like in ”Manhattan” both have this amazing opening scenes showing the beauty of the city.
The dialogues, references, human and couple’s conflicts are as good as “Deconstructing Harry”, “Annie Hall” or Hanna and her Sisters”-----or simply weird fun line “Bananas”. This is why people like this movie so much, everything works. One of my favorite aspects of the film is the excellent acting job from Owen Wilson, his comedic timing and pace is perfect, lots of actors have played a “Woody’ like character before like Kenneth Branagh in “Celebrity”, Jason Biggs in “Anything Else” or even James Brolin as the writer in “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”, all great actors but I think Owen is the best.
This “Cinderella” like story that at strike of midnight he is taken into this fabulous world of the genesis of “Modernity” who isn’t fascinated by this amazing period of the 20th century? All the great characters, writers, painters, bon vivants in general it is my own ideal of a dream world. You can resist the excitement seeing favorites like Dali, (played magnificently by Adrian Brody), Buñuel, I love the part where Gil pitches Luis the plot for “An Exterminating Angel”, Corey Stoll is excellent as Hemingway and Kathy Bates is Gertrude Stein, awesome casting all under Cole Porter’s music.
The classic social criticism of the couples and family structure, the ridiculous and small minded mother, the “Tea Party” affiliate conservative father, and of course the classic girlfriend that constantly puts her boyfriend down and thinks any man is better and more intelligent than her own, typical these days. She is seduced by pseudo-intellectuals like most people today interested in “light “ versions of culture. A lot of Woody points of view, including political are clear in this movie.
I love the part where Gil talks about architecture and the city, a short essay of the importance of the two and their intimate relationship, as an architect I was a sucker for this part.
Needless to say I strongly recommend this movie.