Annie Hall

by Matthew White

Woody Allen's best film? Perhaps. Many would argue for Manhattan, having a more complete package, visually, musically and more completely drawn characters. However, Annie Hall is quite simply funnier. Located in Allen's beloved city of New York, this film is an exploration of the town, its people, their behavior and ultimately, Woody Allen. A highly autobiographical work, the lead character Alvy Singer is a neurotic, insecure comedy writer, it is very much a reflection of his own personality (though living with teenage girls is left for Manhattan). Hilarious one-liners and insecure observations (no doubt examined in decades of analysis) litter the proceedings exposing his present neurosis, with hilarious reference to his childhood days (including the Bergmanesque ploy of physically visiting the past). Diane Keaton plays Annie Hall, whom Allen falls in love with, educates and then gets dumped by. However, flying to LA to win her back, is the nearest Allen gets to an expression of love, leaving his wisecracks to cover over lack of real character development.

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