Late to the Kafkaesque lovemaking! A review of Annie Hall

Late to the Kafkaesque lovemaking! A review of Annie Hall

“Hello? I forgot my mantra.”

Once upon a time, I lived in Chicago. I had a membership with Netflix. I was told that I should watch Annie Hall, so I ordered it from Netflix.

Oh yeah. This “once upon a time” was in August 2009.

So I thought it might make some sense to watch the one Netflix disc I’ve had for two years, because I really want to cancel my membership because I’m trying to save money and the streaming options suck and I don’t want to pay $16 a month for crappy streaming options and a disc that I’ll have for another two years.

I also want to mention that another once upon a time, when I was in high school, my parents rented Manhattan. After about fifteen minutes, I made them turn it off because I didn’t get it and Woody Allen was annoying me. Well, you know, I was sixteen and emotional and ON MY PERIOD. Right? Right.

One of my buddies told me on Twitter that he thought this was one of the “best” films on my list and I have to agree. I enjoyed this movie thoroughly (as I suspected I might), but I’m mostly glad that I watched it with Kevin because he loved it even more than I did (if possible) and giggled about almost every single joke. Ultimately I think this is one of my favorite screenplays– I really wrestled with picking out a quote for this entry because the whole entire film is one hilarious quote after another. And most of all I’m so bitter about the state of the modern RomCom now because THIS is what is funny, this is what I enjoy and what I want to pay $8-12 to see. Not stupid How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or No Strings Attached. Dammit.

I understand why I was irritated by Allen when I watched Manhattan so long ago, but I’m glad I gave his humor another shot. So hey, whoever told me to add Annie Hall to my Netflix queue in 2009, thanks a lot. I’m glad you ended up leading me to one of my new favorite movies.

Observations:

  1. There are not many female actors I love more than Diane Keaton. I can’t think of any at the moment.
  2. Child actors were not any better in 1977 than they are today (KIDS SUCK!).
  3. Lobsters are terrifying.
  4. Although I haven’t ever seen Rocky Horror Picture Show, I’ve heard the songs enough to think that Diane Keaton’s singing voice reminds me a little of Susan Sarandon’s singing voice.
  5. Paul Simon, ladies and gentlemen, with the original Anton Chigurh haircut. I mean, LOOK AT THAT. Who would allow that out of their barbershop?
  6. Are you going to hate me if I say that I felt like I was watching a really long and awesome Seinfeld episode as I saw this? Because I did.

Face palm moment: My first full Woody Allen movie was Midnight in Paris a few weeks ago (which I really liked). Is that bad?

Favorite part: There were several. The cameos by Christopher Walken, Shelly Duvall, Carol Kane, Paul Simon and Jeff Goldblum. The view from Annie’s grandma who HATES Jews. The discussion about photographs n’ stuff between Annie and Alvy with the subtext in caption– feel that way constantly. The mini conversations at the party in California (“All the good meetings are taken!”). The cartoon relationship between Alvy and the Wicked Queen from Snow White (“I don’t get a period. I’m a cartoon character.“).

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: “Hey, don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.” Also, this is not trivia-related but all of those terrible Woody Allen impressions I’ve sat through in my life with no frame of reference at least make sense now.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): I wouldn’t have enjoyed this movie at a younger age. While I’m sorry I didn’t see it sooner I’m glad I saw it at a time that I’d actually be bitter and obsessed with death myself so I could at least relate in a way and fully appreciate the movie. I’ll give this an 8/10.

So thanks for reading. I’m off to cancel Netflix!

10 comments

    • jack completely agrees that you should see RHPS “if only for its place in pop culture”, yet he is also the purist who participated in the movement for this 1975 film not being released on home video until sometime in the early mid 90s and was quite pissy when the owners of the rights of this film finally succumbed to releasing it for the cash with the resulting death of the surrounding cult (of which i was only a casual observer though i did win at least 2 costume competitions in kc and chicago theaters in the late 80s and early 90s)! The “cult” was essentially a room full of dungeons & dragons obsessed virgin geeks who knew every phrase to chant at the screen. while obnoxious, they were more amusing than the film itself, it was always more about the experience than the film. If you are to see it as a “virgin” you really should wait for a screenland or other theater showing so you can experience the cult around the film. the film is so bad that it really cannot be seen/appreciated in the privacy of your own darkened living room but must be experienced in a large boisterous costumed group. btw, susan sarandon denied involvement in this film for many years, though it’s clearly her…it’s just that bad.

      Reply
  • Nice review for an all-time great film. Personal history aside, when Woody Allen is on top of his game no one is better (and that’s why he’s so widely imitated). However, he’s so prolific that some films are clearly more thought-out than others… If you’re following up on his catalog, I’d recommend “Hannah and Her Sisters” next, and then “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Both are amazing, though nowhere near as light and playful as “Annie Hall”; the movies that are more in that vein are “Play It Again Sam” and “Bananas” or “Small-Time Crooks” (underrated), “Manhattan Murder Mystery”… and I really like “Manhattan” (a lot), so I hope you give it another chance. Anyway, I’m interested to hear which ones you like/don’t.

    Reply
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