Poster of Annie Hall (1973). Source: thebostonlady
I didn’t expect much before watching Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, given the fact that this movie was released 37 years ago. I was a fan of Allen’s works that only out in the 2000’s era, such as Vicky Christina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine. However, many movie-critics state that Annie Hall, which made Allen took home Oscar for directing and writing, is Allen’s best and one of the best films ever.
After watching this film I couldn’t agree more with those reviews. And I knew that writing a review for this perfect movie would be a hard one. So I read those reviews again, and a very good one came from Roger Ebert. He wrote an interesting analysis about what Allen intended through the movie and put a conclusion: “Annie Hall” is a movie about a man who is always looking for the loopholes in perfection. Who can turn everything into a joke, and wishes he couldn’t.
Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), a gag writer and stand-up comic is frustrated that his relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) has ended. For Alvy, Annie is an insecure, carefree gal but the only person who can keep up with his wit and negativity. Even though they always argue and fight, that makes them inseparable. Once they argue about sex life while standing in line for the movies. Then they fight because of Alvy’s jealousy on Annie having affair with her college professor. Their fights often contain randomly hilarious jokes, a memorable one for me is this:
Alvy Singer: It’s mental masturbation!
Annie Hall: And you would know all about THAT, wouldn’t you?
Alvy Singer: Hey, don’t knock masturbation! It’s sex with someone I love.
Go ahead, judge me for highlighting this of all the gags.
I love this movie because it is not an ordinary comedy about love that makes me giggle but it explores loves and all the emotions involved, the characters don’t hide their true feelings and deal with others’ weak point in an absurd and hilarious ways. They even ask random people on the streets about relationship things and talk to audience.
Allen and Keaton has the real chemistry in this film, I guess it’s because they were playing themselves. The former real life couple portrayed unique ways of spending time together. In their first date, Alvy cheers up sad Annie by offering a kiss so they can digest their food better. Then they try to make meals boiling live lobsters. And yeah, the sweetest thing he ever say to her in the movie is “Love is too weak a word for what I feel – I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I – I do, don’t you think I do?”
A doodle I drew and posted on my Instagram
A line from this movie that sticks in my head me the most is when Allen says a joke about his relationship with woman: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” It makes my mind blown. If you don’t want to be a member of any club, then why bother entering? I mean if there is any club that you enjoy, how come you don’t want to join? I mean as a member, you will get some advantages, like discount or membership card or social status. I think it’s really important for us to have a sense of belonging for something we love. But wait, some people are just different and irrational, including me. I think my ability that always frustrates me is unconsciously distance myself from everyone I love because I’m unconsciously “looking for the loopholes in perfection.” I tried to push myself to believe love is not about finding the perfect one unless I want to end up being alone. I’m getting there, I guess.
So, that’s all I can say about this movie, and I know I could never top Ebert’s review with a great conclusion, but at least I tried to show my love and appreciation to this rare gem made by Allen. How about you? Do you also think that the movie is Allen’s best? Feel free to comment and discuss, especially if you are Allen’s fans!