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Whatever Works 2010/10/23

Posted by Daddy Dave in Movies, Reviews.
Tags: , , ,

[picture of the cover of Whatever works]Ruthie and I just watched Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works” which came out last year.  We thoroughly enjoyed this film in all respects.

It is very New York — which is good for us; NY has been out of fashion for too long!  Larry David is brilliant as Boris Yelnikoff a grumpy old man and typical New York Jew.  We roared with laughter at times; it is a film filled with glee. But most of all it is the subliminal, underlying wisdom that clinched it for us. This film is sooo true — but in extremis!

We like (and have always liked) people to be as themselves as possible; we love the differences and interactions and the chemistry and dynamics that this provides in the real world.  Our lives are filled and enriched with intertwined stories, mostly down to luck and unlikeliness (if that’s a word).

This is the first film we’ve seen that comes close to addressing such things, so we were giggling with delight and surprise.

I grew up in a very Jewish neighbourhood, so it is always a trip down memory lane to hear of things like knish (Jewish Bridies) or the kvetch and kvetcher.  Ruth laughed at one point during a particularly erudite kvetch from Larry David to say that it reminded her of me! Gee, thanks Ruthie!

Evan Rachel Wood plays “Melodie” .  Now it’s not the most demanding (nor even the most memorable) role, but it worked perfectly when you think about it; she was not “deep”, she was not meant to be a “big” personality, perfect casting actually.  I was going to say that she was the weak link in all this, but after thinking about it, she was just right; a better looking, more volumptious person would have been too much.

Woody Allen’s direction was spot on (as you would expect), but we loved that he broke  the fourth wall at the beginning and a couple of times at the end to good effect.  Y’know, I wondered about this, deciding that it takes great assuredness for a director to include this — especially in these modern days of TV, downloads and DVDs.  Allen is making a wee statement here about cinema being the “proper” place — and, y’know, he is right really. I actually felt guilty watching this on a computer! Boy, do I sometimes miss those “single” days when I “went out”.

This is a film that can be revisited, because as your life changes, as your relationships with your partner and parents change, you will take something different from this film each time you see it.

Whenever I watch a Woody Allen film, I think: “I must watch more Woody Allen films”; it kept our interest throughout, we laughed, we were engaged, we were entertained, and — most importantly, it made us think and then talk.  Superbly edited, lit and photographed, this film operates on many levels… too  many to mention actually (it’s pretty mind-blowing after a few glasses of Deux Fleurs Corbiers). Maaaan, Woodly Allen… sheeesh… wadday guy!

Job done, Woody.

Oh, and welcome world to my new catch phrase “Whatever Works”!


1. Lucia - 2010/10/24

The best film for years.
You summed it up so well.
Woody Allen is god! *cough*

Mummy Ruth - 2010/10/24

Superb film.

I taught the kids to sing “Happy Birthday To You” all the way through twice to gauge the length of time for washing your hands to kill all the germs.

Daddy Dave had never heard of this, and thought we were all mental!

I laughed at his face when the Genius Boris/Larry started singing “Happy Birthday To You” while washing his hands! It’s actually a running joke in this film. Brilliant!

2. solaris1972 - 2011/01/22

Yeees:) I agree with you! I would love to talk over this film with my family, friends…etc.

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