My Five Woody Allen Movies of April
(Well I’m reviewing these all at once because I forgot to review them as I watched. I usually have to wait a few days, at least, in order to see how a movie settles with me, but writing them all together may mean that they get kind of combined in my head. But I’ll do my best.)
Hannah loves Woody Allen, my mom hates him because he’s too dark, Dad doesn’t like his comedic timing as an actor but enjoys his stories, and I think Elizabeth likes him fairly well, so I was interested to see where I would come out on the subject. The only one I’d see before was Midnight in Paris, which I liked and is the only one my Mom likes. So, here are my 5 Woody Allen movies that my sister, Hannah, gave me in April.
This was a good story, and probably one of the top of the week. I thought both Allen and Diane Keaton did a great job, and I enjoyed the format of the story; the way that Woody Allen’s character kept talking to the people around him and you could see into his head.
My older sister loves this movie, and so I think I was expecting to be a little more emotionally moved by it than I was. It might’ve been that for her, this was one of the first movies where she’d seen a good representation of a realistic relationship ending, but ending well. This didn’t feel like the only movie I’ve seen that’s done that (though I can’t think of any other examples) so I think it just didn’t connect with me as strongly as it did for her. But I thought it was very well done, it entertained me along the way, and I cared about the characters. It was a solid one.
The Purple Rose of Cairo
I had no clue what this one was about, and as soon as the major thing happened that made this movie what it was, I was like, “What? It’s THIS kind of movie?” The story gripped me quickly, and I very much wanted everybody to do well. The main guy was so charming! It was a great story that blended fantasy and reality beautifully, with moments of whimsy alongside the mundane. I was warned ahead of time that it ended sadly, so I was prepared for that and ok with how they did it by the time the ending came. It was definitely sad, but not necessarily hopeless. This one definitely entertained me and drew me in.
Take the Money and Run
The second one starring Woody Allen (see how nice my pattern was? He starred in every other movie) started off setting the tone right away, with its documentarial narration filled with zany silliness and morbid humor. It had me giggling all along the way, even for the jokes that didn’t make sense (him being a rabbi as a drug side effect made me laugh out loud even though it was nonsensical), and the movie kept its tone throughout the whole thing. It was surreal and making fun of itself, and while there clearly wasn’t a lot of depth to it, it was definitely a fun one to watch.
Bullets Over Broadway
“Yay John Cusack!” I’m pretty sure that’s what I said when I saw that he was in it. Anyway, this one was the most NORMAL feeling movie of the month; the one with the least amount of weird reality dimensions playing throughout. I liked this one pretty well, too, though I remember having some negative emotions towards it after finishing it; I can’t remember what they were now. The movie took an unexpected turn through the middle, which amused me, and I think when it climaxed that it resolved itself quickly but efficiently by the end. I remember being a bit worried that it wouldn’t end well, but overall I was satisfied. (Though I found it quite annoying when the lady kept going “don’t speak” and clamping her hand over his mouth constantly.)
This one was a mix for me, because it had some very sweet moments, but it also had many more explicit innuendos (not surprising, considering the story) which I never enjoy, and the weird-reality-dimension-narration in this one was… odd. Maybe if I understood anything about whatever mythology they were talking about and how it connected to the story, it would make more sense and feel less out of place. So I just ignored it and assumed I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to get it. But despite those aspects, I did think it was a sweet movie and it had characters I rooted strongly for. (Also, Little Red Riding Hood from the recorded stageplay of Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters was in it, and I was very excited when I recognized her.)
PUTTING THEM IN ORDER
5. Mighty Aphrodite (sweet story but had several things I disliked)
4. Bullets Over Broadway (solid story and characters but I had conflicting emotions; maybe that would change on a rewatch)
3. Take the Money and Run (a solid silly one that was great fun)
2. Annie Hall (a very good story that I expected to like more than I did)
1. The Purple Rose of Cairo (the one that I was most connected to emotionally)
That was almost the exact reverse order of how I watched them! 🙂 Overall, I think Woody Allen has some great concepts and executions of stories, and while I’m a sucker for happy endings and his aren’t always happy, I love how he throws surreal atmosphere throughout the movies; it keeps them interesting, and I think he does a good job of the ending matching the tone of the story.
Next time… Elizabeth’s pick of 5 Best Picture Winners!