Thursday, 14 April 2011

Whatever Works

Kari's getting better. She's got a new post up on her blog. It's...she's been through a lot. But yeah, she's improving. After what she was in that flat, it's going to be an uphill battle. She's basically trying out anything to bring her comfort; she's delving more into her religious beliefs (which I have...mixed feelings about), trying to spend more time with her family. Seeking comfort wherever she can find it. But she's not finding it. I don't know why my nihilistic ass is so saddened by her coming to the same conclusion about the world that I did years ago, but it's troubling to me. Her genuine belief that the world is fundamentally a good place's going fast. There's no two ways about it.

But anyway, the show must go on. This isn't a fucking LiveJournal, this is a movie blog! And next up is a review which, for once, isn't about a movie which has the sun shining out of it's hindquarters.

Woody Allen could almost be seen as an inspirational figure, one who plods ever onwards in his quest to make the movie he's made over and over again since the early 80s. His tenacity may be admirable, but his writing and directing chops are unfortunately nowhere near the levels they were at during those Annie Hall/Love and Death/Manhattan years, despite a light patch with Match Point back in 2006. With Whatever Works, he hands the lead role over to Larry David, perhaps trying to cash in on the rightly lauded Curb your Enthusiasm (The Season 1-7 boxset of which I have right here, and which I display more love than I would towards my firstborn). Both David and Allen delve into untrodden ground by, of all things, having the lead character be a neurotic, audience aware Jew.

Anyway, the movie details a Russian physicist's relationship with a young southern runaway (Played by Evan Rachel Wood) and eventually her family, and the theme of the movie ends up coming across as "everyone's life would be better if only they lived like Woody Allen." Everyone in this movie's problems are solved by integrating into the Manhattan social scene which, while always a trapping of Allen's cinema, has never quite taken the reins this way before, and it just comes off as unbearably smug.

Of course, what sucks the most is that there's nothing to back it up. David flounders with too rigid a script, the supporting cast, with the exception of Wood, are entirely forgetable, and the script falls flat and feels altogether unfinished. The comedy in particular lacks any real humour, and never once made me laugh.

I wanted to like this. I love a lot of Allen's work, and I outright resent having to criticise Larry David, but this film comes off as smug, without the chops to back itself up. Avoid if at all possible.

1 comment:

  1. More religious? I prayed, once, while I was still half in shock. My favourite non-fiction book is The Blind Watchmaker. To say that I'm "delving more into [my] religious beliefs" is pushing it...