I will Confess. I always enjoy most Woody Allen Films. I easily identify with him or at least the characters he plays and often the characters in his films in one way or another. As well as his films. I sometimes wish I could live in the world of his films. Which are silly but have a realistic shell. I will say that though I love Martin Scorsese. Woody Allen’s films are the type I always see as the closest to the type of films I one day want to make. It shows and teaches different forms and ways of presenting a story through Inner thoughts, Subtitles, Aniamtion, Flashbacks, Memories and Parallel side by side P.O.V.
It took me awhile before I saw this film. Since it was seen as a classic I was nervous what would happen if I didn’t like it. So as a result I familiarized with his other films before finally viewing this one. I wanted to understand the context and manner of the film. His films to be exact.
It always seems that I am watching this film on the big screen. I own the dvd and that is where I first saw it. Though I never seem to watch it on Dvd. I might watch a scene of it, but I seem to always catch it when it is screened at the Film Forum in New York. It’s a film I always love introducing my friends to who have never seen it. They always end up loving it. I always seem to watch it every few years. I appreciate it. Yet watching it so many times takes away not only from this film but others sometimes. Though once you have time to miss it by staying away from it, You come back and appreciate it more.
Woody Allen originally envisioned this movie as a murder mystery, with a subplot about a romance. During script revisions, Allen decided to drop the murder plot, which he and Marshall Brickman later revitalized in Manhattan Murder Mystery
The film has universal appeal even if you don’t fit into the types of characters on display here. You can identify with the moments, situations, Emotions of being in a relationship.
The film influenced me in the way of telling a story on screen. As The film is not as much of a screwball comedy as Woody Allen’s earlier films. This film really like he not only has something to say, but that he is saying something in the form of a statement. The film can be dramatic and comedic and still be wacky and feel loose and structured. Though this film at times is non linear it easily follows a perfect construct. Though even if the film was made linear wise it would have still had the same effect on the audience. It showed me you can experiment with the manner in which you tell a story but also that you can tell a personal story and still make it entertaining for an audience. Shows the differences yet similar though the characters seem different. Shockingly watching it didn’t realize she more or less goes after him then romancing her.
Diane Keaton’s real name is Diane Hall and her nickname is Annie.
The film is of it’s time and moment, But still relevant for it’s many memorable and classic scenes usually comedic like The cocaine scene, The trying to drive in L.A., Standing on The movie Line. Etc.
The film has a quick running time so that it doesn’t wear out it’s welcome. It’s a cultural time capsule.
The film’s working title was “Anhedonia” – the inability to feel pleasure. United Artists fought against it (among other things, they were unable to come up with an ad campaign that explained the meaning of the word) and Woody Allen compromised on naming the film after the central character three weeks before the film’s premiere. Other titles suggested were “It Had to Be Jew”, “A Rollercoaster Named Desire”, and “Me and My Goy”.
The film doesn’t paint either of the main characters as right or wrong, Hero or villain. Nor does betrayal play any part of it. The filmmaker is not afraid to celebrate nor show the pettiness and bad side of it’s characters even the analyzing and reviewing of past relationships.
The first rough cut ran 2 hours and 20 minutes. Among the scenes later eliminated were: segments showing Alvy’s former classmates in the present day; Alvy as a teenager; a scene in a junk-food restaurant (featuring Danny Aiello); extensive additional scenes featuring Carol Kane, Janet Margolin, Colleen Dewhurst and Shelly Duvall; and a fantasy segment at Madison Square Garden featuring the New York Knicks competing against a team of five great philosophers. Christopher Walken’s driving scene was also cut, but was restored a week before the film was completed. New material for the ending was filmed on three occasions, but most was discarded. The final montage was a late addition.
One scene cut from the film is a fantasy sequence of Annie and Alvy visiting hell. This scene was rewritten 20 years later for Allen’s Deconstructing Harry.
Though now a legend, Even then Woody Allen was a fascinating man. Remember though he was the complete opposite of the classic leading man in the 60’s and 70’s. It was more about talent usually that made you marketable and a star. In his time he was a sex symbol more a intellectual one, but there was and maybe still is a section of women who see him that way inspiring many men to be like him. He created a comedic character that was Charming, Intelligent, Funny and full of personality.
No one in the cast is movie star glamourous. So it doesn’t feel like movie stars falling in love. Instead watching two people fell in love and try to survive their relationship.
This seems to be one of the first times he really got to do comedy, but bringing his intelligent interests and his artistic inspiration more to the forefront. He has always admired Igmar Bergman and desired to make more dramatic and depressing art films, Because that is more of a struggle where as comedy comes easy to him. He did start out as a comedy writer then comedian before playwriting, Director, Writer and actor.
This film is less comedic and more personal. Especially considering he was romantically involved with Diane Keaton at the time. Woody was less Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx putting himself out there more creating his own comical on-screen personae.
I know I have been gushing about Woody Allen mostly but the film wouldn’t be as winning without its cast especially Diane Keaton who gives a great performance as she is not afraid to be petty, scared. Being a real character. She wasn’t always the first Choice but luckily she was the one who won the iconic role.I couldn’t imagine anyone else cast. They compliment each other.
The film doesn’t have a happy ending which makes me respect it all the more because it would have been easier to go the route of the traditional romantic comedy, but by sticking to its guns it not only sets itself apart. It also shows it’s own identity that now many other movies copy from it. Though the film is wacky time to time it hit’s many emotional truths on it’s journey to an organic ending that isn’t a stunt and settles more then ends.
Definately woth seeing.