Wild Young Minds: Nobody like Annie Hall

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nobody like Annie Hall

Often seen as Woody Allen's best and most intriguing film (perhaps because it seems based on his own relationship with Diane Keaton, who plays Annie Hall), Annie Hall is a classic. Not only an inspiration in the movie world (ever noticed 500 days of summer is exactly like it? the relationship, the focus on the feelings of the man, the crazy girl) but also in fashion. Annie Hall is an icon.

I've seen several films of Woody Allen. For instance Manhattan, Scoop, Match Point, You'll meet a tall dark stranger, Vicky Christina Barcelona. They all seem to have a lot of themes in common. Especially the films where he's in himself, like Manhattan and Annie Hall.

Annie Hall relates a story about love, a great and passionate love between two neurotics living in the most neurotic city in the entire world: New York City. Alvy Singer, a comedian, meets Annie Hall, an insecure yet really eccentric woman, during a tennis game. One thing leads to another and suddenly they're in a relationship. Like a lot of great and passionate loves, there is fire (in a good way) and there is war. I've also got to compare this with Carrie & Big, or Ross & Rachel. Can't live with the person, can't live without him/her.

But Annie Hall is more than just a love. It's about a couple that both can't commit themselves. They are both seeing a therapist and have issues. Annie Hall keeps running away from everything, and wants to experience everything. Alvy doesn't, he loves New York and doesn't want to leave the city for anything. Like Annie refers to it, 'You're just like New York. You're an island'. Alvy also has an obsession with death and antisemitism. He's a dedicated pessimist and incapable of enjoying life. But very funny though.

Annie Hall is a classic, but you gotta be able to deal with a lot of talk. Woody Allen is famous for his fast talking, and Annie Hall is good in it as well. People are constantly talking, so it's a bit uptight. Also, it's only a story about a relationship. I think the story is great, and the conversations are hilarious (Alvy Singer definitely is a good comedian) but if you are looking for action or tension, you're watching the wrong movie.

But if you want to see a typical Woody Allen movie, light with deep thoughts in it, and you don't mind seeing lots of wonderful things like: New York, vintage cars, the androgyn clothing style of Annie Hall, New York, Paul Simon, innovative filming techniques and New York, you gotta see Annie Hall. For the character Annie Hall is wonderful, and Woody Allen isn't so bad as himself (Alvy Singer) either.

"Alvy Singer: I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.''

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