Whatever Works (Dir: Woody Allen/2010)
Considering the cynical, critical and self-analytical “Larry David” in Curb Your Enthusiasm, it is no surprise that he plays the “Woody Allen” character in Whatever Works. Boris (Larry David) is a chess teacher and former professor. Despite his hyper-critical nature, he becomes the crush of Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood) – a 21 year-old runaway Boris finds on his doorstep. Though Allen turns to tried-and-tested narrative techniques (Boris talks to us directly throughout), it feels like a wannabe-Woody film, rather than actually by the New Yorker who directed Manhattan and Annie Hall. It feels dated and doesn’t seem to say anything that we haven’t heard before – and Allen claims the script was written in the 1970’s. Indeed, the characters are simplistic - Deep South folk are repressed; the religious Father is, in fact, gay, etc. Hey, I look forward to the new Woody Allen - but in 2010, we expected much more.
These 150 word reviews are a part of 'Woody Allen Wednesdays' on Flickering Myth