- Format: NTSC
- Studio: Paramount Home Video
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000MM04D4
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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life is going for most people all over the world, and the people who are not under the influence the married male analyst and the philosopher played by Allen, are able thanks to their intelligence, to put their heads in the clouds, to live outside of this world, they are closer to their reflections than their sensuality, they reflect and contemplate so what animates the wife, and others is what drives all too many people..is this right? That's his story..Ricci who plays a part in the film had a hard time getting the scenes right with Allen..and you can read her commentary on Allen type dramas..but they are good since there is not much film like this, and it elevates hollywood to have somewhere some making a movie at what the world is going through,,,if we are not seein git why not..and what does that tell us about many films..there are good films..but not many a handful seem to like this film so not many films like this will be made in the future..maybe denial..we dont like to see ourselves reflected..narcissus may be an old greek character...I enjoyed but few would..its an existential drama of ideas..after you watch it you will be depressed and you may see things about others you dont like..critics and audiences alike dont like this film..and said one critic Allen's worse movie..an existential intelligent drama..
It opens with a henny youngman joke, the ancient comedian one of my favourite next to jack benny george burns, were they old vaudevillians. Also God..how human persons change and society and in the drama they use the word ritual, but actually when God disappears from the emotional lives of individuals, and woody the philosopher who is narrator and an interloping character, quite a sophisticated device, very inartistically he plays a part and relates to characters, and narrates action, but thats how he sets up his drama. The married analkyst's wife cheats but she really loves him the most so is disloyal her spouse, who she loves and her lovers, that is why the affairs are of short duration and she keeps breaking them off. Her values are emotional relations, talks with her spouse, and she splits herself off in ways..but eventually this will catch up with her. What she wants is for her spouse to have affairs and her as well and for them just to have an emotional relationship, love, not based on sensual entanglements, the purity of love, and the lovers are in ways trapped..and the philosopher was with a psychiatrist and he ended up in mental ward the psychiatrist drugged him when he didnt believe in his love relationships,,like he was trying to kill someone..I'm just trying to have a relationship..then the psychologist is at a psychiatrist..and he too is having similar problems..like Sartre's "no EXit" the philosopher says or Serlings "Five characters in search of an exit"..everyone seems trapped and all the doctors go around serving this girl? Another person in the play makes a good point..only those willing to make themselves vulnerable will truely love..note the doctor and asthma scene..then we come to Connie..she still wants them to have separate sexual partners..and she wants to know who the partners are since she still loves the husband..but these kinds of relations are of no interest to her..as well as reports of showers the philosopher heard..stories where there are no showers..she develops relations with teachers but he stays alone..the philosopher and psychologist..by psychoanalysis they mean they look for love and values and even religion..thats really what that psychotherapy means..among other things..the philosopher likes simulated experiences...a world where people since all harm to enjoy yourself without involving others in..he cant trust anyone.or can anyone?...eventually the relationship falls apart..and she is off with the doctor..since he's a man who doesnt live up to the values of her husband and she knows he's a misogynist..making women into sex addicts..and removing from their lives the men who help them...an examination of some modern personalities..interesting storyline developed by Woody..and Woody the scenarist is excellent in being able to analyze his characters in such great detail..I'm amazed..a drama also on a modern person who love and actually like to have flings..and how they differentiate the two...the husbands being in the care like the psychiatrist..dont know whats going on until its too late...like showers that dont exist
Existential drama..the fact that we dont like this drama tells you something about the culture we have here..I like plays and if you do serious drama..you may enjoy...the interloping character/narrator is a constant literary device of Woody's..is there anybody who makes drama like Woody's..he comes up with great and sophisticated ideas..and know shis characters so intimately that he cares for them...at the start he says now that god is gone..all men can focus on is women..there are no children since no one seems interested in children..again not many in north america like dit
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.
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.
Stockard Channing is also a wonderful actress with an interesting character who doesn't get enough screen time. I know that a lot of actors make sacrifices just for the sake of being in a Woody Allen movie, but some deserve more when they achieve something. I mentioned Danny DeVito earlier - his scene in the restaurant and Stockard Channing's when she plays the piano are gems.
Fortunately for the film, Jason Biggs can do subtle comedy and his character generates a lot of empathy. Hopefully Woody has found a new niche for himself in his films as a major supporting character. Dobel allows Woody to lapse back into some of his early career schtick without crossing the line that made most of us cringe at some of his more recent work. Just in looking at the advertising and PR for this film, one would never know that it was a Woody Allen movie and it's a shame that it's come to the point where his name might be construed as a negative.
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