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Woody Knows His Audience
on May 30, 2002
If you are looking for zany slap-stick thrills and rib-cracking laughter, then this is not the entertainment for you. If, however, you want to take a humorous stroll down memory lane or share a stroll with your parents or grandparents, then this is a wonderful film to do it with. The story really plods along with no real aim, just a lot of subplots that loosely tie in together, but that is part of the craft of this film. Much like Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" Woody Allen describes life as a boy in the early/mid 20th Century and narrates the film from the first person perspective. It is, in effect, his childhood autobiography. There are plenty of old radio advertisements for previous generations to quote and musical tunes for them to recollect and sing along with. I recently viewed the DVD with an older lady who did this very thing and smiled throughout the duration of the movie. A few times I could see tears welling up as she smiled and recalled her own childhood. I was able to relate to some of it, as it helped me recall memories of my grandparents and even some of my own shinanigans as a youngster. It also appealed to me immensely as a fan of Comedy and Drama. This is not typical Woody Allen fare but, as with any of his stories, it is directed at a specific audience. In that regard Woody has accomplished his goal in flying colors. This is a must-see film for nostalgic types and history buffs; a show to be shared with family and friends.