Woody Allen's Whatever Works Was Originally Written in the 70's!
At least two of my friends are big fans of Woody Allen (you know who you are) and anytime a new movie comes out, I always call them to hear their thoughts. Hitting theaters soon is Allen's latest, Whatever Works, starring "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Larry David. And if there are fans out there who have been waiting for Allen to get back to his roots, then we've got good news. "Whatever Works is a screenplay that dates so far back it was originally written for Zero Mostel, who died the year Annie Hall came out (1977). Allen updated it very slightly, but make no mistake: This movie is literally vintage Woody Allen."
That quote comes from an article in NY Mag (via The Playlist) looking at Woody Allen and Whatever Works and his potentially triumphant return to New York City (since his last few features have been taken place around Europe). If you haven't seen the trailer for Whatever Works yet, then please watch it, even though I think it somewhat fails to truly capture the old school Woody Allen brilliance found in the film. But that's not necessarily what this is about. I'm mentioning Whatever Works as much as I can because it's genuinely one of my favorite Woody Allen films of the last few years. Here's a bit more about its background.
"Remember the Woody Allen of the seventies, the guy who several generations of New Yorkers decided was the comedic poet laureate of their era of the city? The man with whom they had a great first date (1973's Sleeper) that deepened into a full-on relationship (1977's Annie Hall) and then further enriched itself into true love (1979's Manhattan), because we always fall in love with the one who makes us laugh? Whatever Works is, in essence, the missing movie from that period—the film that would have rounded out the New York phase of Allen's early career if only he had made it."
Hopefully that convinced a few of you out there to check this out when it hits theaters. It's not at all like Vicky Cristina Barcelona or Scoop or even Match Point. And as for my Woody Allen-loving friends, they better be there at the very first show. I tried to capture the feeling of the film in my early review, but it was impossible. This quote probably best expresses why I loved it: "It calls to mind a brand of Jewish humor that has, in recent years, been all but scrubbed out—neurotic, depressive, abrasive, excluded." If any of this has got you, read the full NY Mag article. And don't forget to see Whatever Works in theaters on June 19th.