A Young Artist Struggling With His Career And His Muse Is Getting More Than A Little Aggravation From Cupid In This Romantic Comedy Written And Directed By Woody Allen. Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs) Is A Promising 21-Year-Old Comedy Writer Living In New York City. While Jerry Has Talent, He'S Having A Hard Time Getting His Career Off The Ground, Which Might Have Something To Do With The Fact His Agent Harvey (Danny Devito) Is A Well-Meaning, But Ineffectual, Blowhard, And His Mentor David Dobel (Allen) Is An Increasingly Paranoid Eccentric Whose Twin Careers As A Teacher And Standup Comic Are Both Floundering. Poised At The Top Of Jerry'S Mountain Of Anxieties Is His Relationship With His Girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci); From The First Moment He Saw Her, Jerry Has Been In Love With Her, But Amanda'S Multiple Neuroses, Fear Of Commitment, And Frustrating Intimacy Issues Make Her All But Impossible To Be Around. Jerry Is Approaching His Breaking Point When The Small Flat He Shares With Amanda Becomes Home To A Third Roommate - Amanda'S Mother Paula (Stockard Channing), Who Has Decided To Come To New York To Chase Her Dream Of Becoming A Cabaret Singer. Anything Else Also Features Supporting Performances From Jimmy Fallon, William Hill, And Jazz Vocalist Diana Krall.
Christina Ricci invigorates an even-more-neurotic-than-usual variation on the classic neurotic woman in this Woody Allen movie. Comedy writer Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs, American Pie
) is madly in love with Amanda (Ricci, The Opposite of Sex
), even though they haven't had sex in six months. Falk meets an older writer named Dobel (Allen) who becomes a sort of accidental mentor, encouraging him to break free of Amanda and his clinging agent (Danny DeVito). The pace is sluggish, almost every scene feels like an outtake from an earlier, better Woody Allen movie (particularly Annie Hall
), Biggs never seems comfortable with his dialogue--only Ricci makes her character her own, giving her own perverse comic spin to the proceedings. About three-fourths of the way through the movie, the story starts to feel fresher and more compelling, but by then it's too late. Also featuring Jimmy Fallon and Stockard Channing. --Bret Fetzer