A love letter to NYC that explores the neurotic life and loves of a twice-divorced comedy writer, played by Allen himself. After his wife leaves him for another woman, Issac must choose between his young and earnest girlfriend Tracy or his best friend’s ex-mistress, the pseudo-intellectual Mary.
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I don't know why, but Allen's cinema always looks overrated to me. Although Manhattan has beautiful urban scenes, it's a very pseudo-intelectual film about the urge of being less lonely: being that, it does not evoke any kind of emotion in me - it's not particularly funny or sad, it's contemporary adult-kids going cerebral. Thumbs up for the cast - it's a very cool ensemble.
Perhaps the ultimate "New York" movie, Woody Allen's MANHATTAN is a lovely mosaic of New York life as seen through the eyes of Isaac Davis (Allen), a neurotic writer in love with two women - a sweet but naive 17 year old girl and a worldly fellow writer. Looks at Manhattan through the eyes of smoky old black and white photographs and Gershwin music, perfectly evoking the city's rhythms and atmosphere.
there were some really promising moments like diane keaton's brilliant performance, but for a comedy, the lack of laughs in accordance with my humour is sort of a killer. the neurotic style of humour just does not grab me like i half wish it would. the scenes which reference chaplin visibly are the real fun of the film for me, which makes me think it could have been better. i just find myself thinking 'eh'.
Hemingway captures all the vulnerability of being a teenager (relatively speaking) in this film. I don't think she was more than 18. Allen was never able to find this same vulnerability in other young muses like Juliette Lewis and Scarlet Johansson, who came across as naively cynical in later movies.
Allowing Tracy the film's concluding lines is the ultimate grace note in this most graceful of all of Allen's films. "You have to have a little faith in people." Allen may not believe it now, and he may not have really believed it then, but in Manhattan he manages to make us believe it anyway. I've watched this film maybe a dozen times, and it never becomes any less thrilling, or less telling.