"Another 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."
The world is ostensibly divided into two categories - those who adore Woody Allen films and those who abhor the works of Woody Allen. As I have viewed very few of Woody's movies I cannot be consigned into any of these categories. Nevertheless your enjoyment of each Woody Allen film is determined by your perspective on the guy's approach to filmmaking.
Annie Hall was recognised by the Academy Awards when it copped four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director. Extensively regarded as his greatest motion picture, Woody Allen's Annie Hall is partially an autobiographical anecdote abundant in adult themes and perceptions on the topic of relationships. These themes are ornately delved into during the film's moderately diminutive running time. We see the ups and downs of relationships, as well as the break-ups succeeded by being reunited.
The foundation of the film is of Woody Allen's real life relationship with Diane Keaton. Woody Allen portrays a Jewish comedian named Alvy Singer, with Diane Keaton playing a nightclub singer named Annie Hall. The film broadly traces the relationship between the two of them over an extensive period of time. As the customary relationship dilemmas begin to foster, they progressively pull away from each other and realise that it will never work between them. The opening monologue from Woody Allen brings the viewer up to date with the state of affairs: that he and Annie have broken up and he's distraught about it.
The purpose of the flashbacks is to explore the reason behind their eventual break up. What went wrong? When did it happen? How could it have been avoided? This film is poignant and brilliant because the audience can develop their own perspective on where he actually did go wrong. As the protagonist's interactions seem to be normal, it's hard to realise the point when the two realise that it could never work. They fight and have their evident divergences; hence incredibly true to life as we also explore other themes of a relationship. This mainly includes jealousy and infidelity. It even investigates the awkwardness of being with another partner. These underlying themes and messages are fascinating. Personally I thought that it made for great entertainment.
Annie Hall is marketed not only as a romance but also as a comedy. There are several good laughs in the film that are just funny because they are true (like a girl calling someone over at 3am just to kill a spider that is causing them to lose sleep). In other instances it's Woody Allen's impeccably delivered monologues as a stand up comedian, or even just flashbacks when we can just laugh at the pathetic nature of an individual (like an actor inserting laughter into a sitcom to make it seem funny).
Annie Hall also boasts an enormous array of fantastic performances. Woody Allen is very cute in the title role (that is essentially himself); however in each film he always seems largely the same. There are several notable instances when Woody talks to the audience about a certain situation. Diana Keaton has an astronomically appealing screen persona. While she plays opposite an anxious, stuttering Woody Allen it's usually hilariously funny. This film also features a number of interesting cameos from actors who went on to become very famous. When this film was made they were not big names in Hollywood. Examples include a 30-second scene with Christopher Walken and a brief shot featuring Jeff Goldblum. In a historical sense this is very fascinating. Their scenes are also quite memorable. It's almost as if Woody knew that they would become big stars later in their lives.
Annie Hall is a clever, charming romantic comedy that is thoughtful and original. Its style in particular is very impressive despite a number of dated filmmaking techniques. Okay, so the film explores themes that are palpable in everyday society. I just find it interesting in a poignant "funny because it's true" sense. Highly recommended.