Once again, as it does in “The purple rose of Cairo” Woody’s childhood plays a very important role in this film. Having grown in a decadent period of time in American History and being part of an American-Jewish Family, Allen has had a tough infancy.
In “Radio Days” the narrator (Woody Allen), a man named Joe, tells the audience how the radio used to influence him, his family and his friends during his early life, which develops in the days before TV (late 30’s). Even though Joe’s family lives modestly in the Queens neighborhood of Rockaway Beach, each member finds in radio shows an escape from reality through the gossip of celebrities, sports legends of the day, crooners, etc. This coming-of-age tale mixes the narrator’s experiences with contemporary anecdotes and urban legends of the radio stars.
Through a quite funny, entertaining and, at some points, moving story, Woody Allen makes his tribute to a loyal companion during his childhood. He shows us how a simple thing as a tiny wooden box that produces sound could bring harmony and happiness in American homes keeping families together during hard times in which people behave weirdly. The dialogues are as clever as always, not to mention the great performances given by the cast.
To conclude, a memorable thing to remark is that Woody set flawlessly the tale in the late 30’s and early 40’s.
This is another score from a great filmmaker, far from being among his best. Not so deep or trapping as other, but good at last. Three-star movie.