Day 178: Everyone Says I Love You

51K44K4EQCLEveryone Says I Love You is a musical, of sorts.

It’s kind of a throwback to the old-school musicals of Hollywood’s heyday (think MGM in the 1950s). But I’m not sure all of the cast actually sings. The voices that come from their mouths don’t seem to match what I thought they’d sound like.

Oh, I can recognize Edward Norton’s voice. And Alan Alda’s. And a few others.

But does Tim Roth really sound like that? If so, he’s pretty good.

This is another huge, star-studded cast.

Too huge, in my opinion.

When the cast gets this big, I don’t think Woody knows how to film it well. Everyone Says I Love You comes across too jumbled, too jam-packed, too frenetic.

This is a new twist on a Woody Allen film. In fact, it’s an ambitious Woody Allen film.

But it’s a typical Woody Allen film in that it’s filmed in New York, it’s chock-full of neurotic characters, it’s about relationships, and love, and death (the ghosts dancing at the visitation, for example).

Woody was 61 in this picture. His love interest (Julia Roberts) was 29.

In other words, Woody gets older. But his leading ladies do not.

It starts to look a little creepy after awhile (especially in an upcoming movie, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion when Woody – then 66 – is paired with Helen Hunt – then 38).

By the way, I love the Captain Spaulding number, which is an homage to the Marx Brothers.

And the dance number beside the river with Woody and Goldie Hawn was magical, a really well-constructed scene that astounds and delights.

Everyone Says I Love You isn’t a bad movie. In many ways, it’s a very fine movie. It’s just not one on my Best-Of-Woody list.

Day 174: Manhattan Murder Mystery

518B34J685LManhattan Murder Mystery is one of my favorite Woody Allen films.

It’s not a heavy movie.

It’s not an essential movie.

It’s just a fun movie.

I like the pairing of Alan Alda, Diane Keaton, and Anjelica Huston with Woody.

It’s the first time Diane Keaton has appeared in a Woody Allen film since Manhattan in 1979. (Interesting that the word “Manhattan” is in both titles featuring Keaton.) It’s Alan Alda’s second appearance in a Woody film, the first being Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Here’s the plot of this 1993 comedy, the 23rd Woody directed:

Woody and Diane are married. They live in an apartment across the hall from an elderly couple whom they befriend. One day, the old woman drops dead from a heart attack. Diane suspects foul play, however, and enlists the help of friend Alan Alda who, together, ratchet up their suspicions until they’re convinced the old man murdered his wife.

Did he? Or didn’t he?

Ahh, that’s why Continue reading

Day 170: Crimes and Misdemeanors

51BH1MKN2ELCrimes and Misdemeanors is a captivating, brilliant, ironic, and thoroughly depressing movie about an opthamologist (Martin Landau, 1928- ), his mistress (Angelica Huston, 1951- ), and a married documentary filmmaker (Woody Allen) who is infatuated by another woman.

The theme of the movie comes early on, in a scene in which Juda Rosenthal (Landau) delivers an acceptance speech for some kind of award:

“I remember my father telling me, ‘The eyes of God are on us always.” The eyes of God. What a phrase to a young boy. What were God’s eyes like? Unimaginably penetrating, intense eyes, I assumed. And I wonder if it was just a question that I made my specialty opthamology.”

“Eyes” is the theme of Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Staring eyes. Watching eyes. Jealous eyes. Failing eyes.

Once again, the movie is about relationships, infidelity, love, death, religion, God…you name it. It’s Woody through and through.

But it’s a Woody more focused and Continue reading