September (Dir. Woody Allen/1987)
“I’m not who I thought I was” notes Steffie (Dianne Wiest) in Woody Allen’s sober and sincere September. Loosely based on Chekhov play Uncle Vanya, Allen contains the drama within a single house. Friends and family are supporting clinically-depressed Lane (Mia Farrow) following a failed suicide attempt but everyone finds it difficult to cope. Lane loves her boyfriend Peter (Sam Waterston), but he has fallen for Steffie, a married woman going through a rough patch. Lane’s Mum, Diane (Elaine Stritch), a retired actress is desperate for Peter to write her biography frustrating Lane further. Suffice to say, no-one is, emotionally, who they think they are. Lacking the laughs, September provides a solemn approach to relationships. Allen takes a step towards seriousness as affairs are not flippant and suicide is real. A tender story, September lacks the pace and immediacy that drives a drama forward making this more miss than hit.