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98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie Hall has truly stood the test of time. And I loved it, May 14, 2004
This review is from: Annie Hall (DVD)
I have a confession to make.

Until now, I've never seen a Woody Allen movie.

Boy, I sure was a "miss out".

Annie Hall, made in 1977, is a classic. Why, oh why, did I wait so long?

First of all it's a story, and a very funny story at that, about a New York Jewish comedian, played by Woody Allen and his WASP girlfriend, played by Diane Keaton. It pokes fun at many social mores that we take for granted and I found myself laughing throughout. There's the New Yorker who never learns to drive, the mid-westerner who orders a pastrami sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise (which seems almost grotesque to a New Yorker like me), the pretentious movie critic, the neuroses of modern romances, and the differences between the New York and Los Angeles way of life.

The film runs along at such a fast pace that there is almost no time at all between funny moments. And, to make it even better, there are some wonderful film techniques. For example, while Diane Keaton and Woody Allen are talking about photography, there are subtitles on the screen about the physical relationship that they are really thinking about.

If the film were made today the phone calls would have been made on cell phones. But surprisingly, that is the only detail that might be changed. Annie Hall has really truly stood the test of time. And I loved it.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 10, 2011 3:06:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2011 3:12:13 PM PDT
Albert Doyle says:
What makes Woody hilarious is he inserts those little neurotic foibles we all have into his universe and personal relationships. He can't enter the movie a minute after it starts because it wrecks a personal kind of neurotic Feng Shui that he must obey in order to feel everything is right. The fact Woody is obsessed with Nazi holocaust movies only accents his personal schadenfreud. Woody lives a free floating anxiety that becomes his personal religion. It follows him around like a curse. It manifests into the real world and movie screen when Woody steps into this alternate world and retrieves a famous professor who straightens out a pretentious Manhattan teacher who likes to hear himself talk while standing in line for a movie.

The movie's kind of tragic because Woody finds out he loves Annie Hall after he leaves her. But what's even more tragic is both us and Woody aren't sure if Woody loves Annie or the fractured relationship. In the end Annie's attraction to Hollywood superficiality over Woody's deeper New York existence is what tears at Woody's deepest understandings and accents the fickleness of life and how deeper values can be utterly betrayed by random fecklessness. The movie is deep because it poses hard questions against life and reality. It causes heart-pain delivered amongst Woody's comedy. The relationship is like life itself. No matter how complex and engrossing it is always met by cruel indifference. It makes you ask questions about what these things are worth in the end. In fact, Woody even asks them right on the screen. Woody's genius is that he's able to suspend this existential quandary in the movie screen almost as if it's a third dimension. Woody tries to live up to his muse and in the end the universe sends him "Hey look there's Alvi Singer" knuckleheads. You get the idea.

I've always seen Woody as a devilish deconstructionist who is more interested in striking the world with a hammer and studying the cracks, and as sort of an existential iconoclast who didn't feel comfortable with normal human expectations or happy endings. In the end, if life is such a rotten deal then why not have the last word on it with a Borscht Belt sling...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 11:03:36 PM PST
Great comment; better than the review!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 1:26:31 PM PST
I will have remember that "deeper New York existence" the next time I walk down the sidewalk and see someone taking a dump on a stoop.

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 7:25:38 PM PST
Trewthe says:
I am new too,so there are others out there that for whatever reason missed the boat,we are also unique in the fact that we can admit it,Woody is like a mini obsession with me now,I am gorging on quality:-)

Posted on Aug 23, 2014 8:58:16 AM PDT
You claim to be a New Yorker, but say you've never seen a Woody Allen film.
Have you ever been to the Met Museum or MOMA? Do you know there are/were art galleries in SoHo and Chelsea and on Madison Ave. plus 57th St? Have you ever had a pastrami sandwich, a Shake Shack burger? Been to Chinatown? Yankee Stadium? Madison Square Garden? I think you were kidding.
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Linda Linguvic

Location: New York City

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,774