So turning to Anything Else, it appears that he might have learned some lessons from his previous efforts by removing himself as the romantic lead. Thankfully - who wants to see Woody wooing Christina Ricci? And also thankfully, he gave himself a part that is actually the best one in the film. His wisecracking Dobel generates most of the genuine laugh moments in the plot alongside an under-used Danny DeVito. Unfortunately, since Woody is not playing the main "Woody" character, it's left to Jason Biggs to more or less assume the persona which gave me some qualms, especially remembering Kenneth Branagh's Woody impersonation in Celebrity. Surprisingly, Biggs pulls it off without lapsing into caricature but it's hard to digest that a twenty-something man would just happen to possess all of the neuroses and cultural tastes of Woody Allen as we have come to know him.
The same goes for Christina Ricci. She doesn't do anything horrible in the film but her character becomes very tiresome very quickly and while it enhances the comedy elements surrounding Biggs's character, it's probably not the best idea for a romantic comedy to make one half of the loving pair so annoying.Read more ›
Robert Motherwell said, " All of my life I've been working the work...Each picture is only an approximation of what you want...you can never
make the absolute statement, but the desire to do so as an approximation keeps you going. " Think about Woody Allen's
career as a film maker - and perhaps this movie will not stand
out, but there are qualities in it that do.
Imagine a retrospective of the best moments of Woody's films, like
the coda-retrospectives in some of them ( Annie Hall ) - it would
be an amazing collage of scenes and lines that we remember
and quote and are reminded of every day.
It is hard to like Anything Else. Christina Ricci's character, no matter how well-played, no matter how agreeable she is to look at, is unbearable.
I rented the movie, and had to turn it off now and then, because I
couldn't understand why Jason Biggs didn't hand her her hat or
Were it not for Woody's character, I may have cancelled the movie.
Dobel ( Allen ) is so nimble-minded, clever in scathing thought
( I'll quote his comment about vomiting in Carnegie Hall to my
college art students ) that I would have been satisfied by the scenes
of Jason and Woody alone.
They both stammer. Woody, like Jimmy Stewart, has made stammering
an art. If you have a problem with one actor stammering, get ready.
Jerry Falk ( Biggs ) can't get through a thought without an eraser.
The music is perfect.Read more ›