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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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..Read more ›
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.Read more ›
when every other thing that happens around me seems to be
a knock on Camus' door of unhappiness. His films may appear
to be more and more flawed - but not to me.
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 ›
Most recent customer reviews
Anything else id not as good as Allen's other. The neurotic character is more in Biggs character, than in Allen's. Biggs is like a young Allen, and it's not that great. Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by chicoer2003
Woody Allen has never failed to amuse - until now. This story seems like a rehashed Allen film with a new actor portraying the neurotic Woody. Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by Marty From SF
As in most of his movies, Woody Allen tapped into the most sacred thing he could find for inspiration - himself. Read morePublished on March 14 2004 by Phrozt
In "Anything Else," Woody Allen stars as David Dobel, a much older mentor to a young and impressionable Jerry Falk, played by Jason Biggs. Read morePublished on March 13 2004 by Lisa Chau
Take a look at the artwork on the front of the case..it looks like a romantic comedy. Unfortunately after picking up this movie and taking it home, some people will see that is it... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Jake McKay
This is Woody Allen for the post-9/11 world, a world and a New York still funny and neurotic and overly preoccupied with love and death, but whose paranoia seems now more than... Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2004 by OPG
I wish I was as clever as Roger Ebert. Love him or hate him, you must admit he can write a great review. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2004 by aaron-the-baron
Jason Biggs plays Woody Allen and Woody Allen plays Woody Allen in ANYTHING ELSE (Universal). That's two too many right there. He directed and wrote this as well. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2004 by Robin Simmons