Most helpful positive review
Far from perfect, but better than the rough treatment it received on release.
on October 5, 2014
Maybe I was too easy on this because the press was so bad that my expectations were low, but it didn't feel like the awful failure I was prepared for. While certainly not up with Allen's best work, and one of his few films I don't feel a need to see a second time, this still had intelligence, wit, good performances and the bittersweet tone about love and sex that Allen does as well as anyone in film history.
It was also interesting to see him finally accept his age, and play a supporting role as an often funny, but sometimes disturbingly crazy older mentor to a young man in love, instead of playing the romantic lead himself.
Yes, some of the jokes are ancient, and Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci, while both fine, don't have the chemistry of Allen and Keaton in "Annie Hall", which this seems to hearken back to. (I actually thought Ricci was excellent, and quite different from her usual screen persona).
But Allen still creates some rich characters, some fun, literate dialogue, and captures how confusing being young and in love with someone who is deeply messed up but sexy and adorable and smart can be. Many of us have been there.