Tuesday, August 31, 2010

68. Annie Hall (1977)


There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. The... the other important joke, for me, is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud's "Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious," and it goes like this - I'm paraphrasing - um, "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." That's the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.

For the longest time I knew "Annie Hall" simply as "the crappy little movie that beat out Star Wars for Best Picture in 1977". Let's just say that this was before I actually watched the movie. That is not to say that I think it deserved the Oscar over Star Wars, but I understand. Woody Allen can flat write his butt off. I have only seen seven of his movies, but I have really enjoyed each and every one. This is mainly because he has the uncanny ability of writing a screenplay that feels like it is already in the mind of the viewer. This is especially true in films like "Annie Hall" in which Allen plays the protaganist. It may sound strange, but Alvy Singer feels like the little neurotic Jew that is trapped inside of me (wow, that REALLY sounds strange now that I wrote it down). Diane Keaton plays the title character who is the perfect foil for Alvy and is the woman that the little neurotic Jew inside of all of us dreams about. I know a lot of people don't really like Woody Allen films, but I think that this is because his mastery of the human psyche hits them so close to home that it becomes uncomfortable.

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