Annie Hall: Cute and Fresh... Back in the 70s
August 19th 2010 15:42
Annie Hall made me wish for a time machine more than almost any other film that isn't part of the Back to the Future franchise. This isn't because I want to live the types of lives the characters live, that would be terrible, but I really want to know what it is like to experience this movie when it was revolutionary. I know it was original and brilliant for the time, but so many of the charming features have been imitated since then that they are part of the mainstream romantic comedy landscape and harder to appreciate.
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton play their parts perfectly, and brought a genuine feel to the characters. Even though I found neither Annie nor Alvy particularly likable, the dialogue and directorial style was interesting enough to hold my attention. There is something incredibly charming about a romantic comedy where no one is perfect, and for every scene that didn't work for me, another quickly followed that I adored.
Allen's style has become his signature, but for the time he made some incredibly brave choices. The fantasy sequences, breaking the fourth wall, and having characters present their own flashbacks are all elements the average film goer wasn't used to, but he managed to make them digestible for nearly any audience. He might stick to a repetitive formula, but Allen's films still have a truthfulness which is still absent from most comedies today.
While I can sincerely appreciate Annie Hall, it certainly isn't a film for everyone. I always enjoy Woody Allen doing his thing, but if his style hard for you to tolerate then this film is practically unbearable. If you enjoy romantic comedies with a slower pace that are more about conversations than falling down, Annie Hall is a breath of fresh air. The film is actually about the characters and conversations, not just awkward situations they find themselves in. No "vibrating panties at a business meeting" jokes here.
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