Thursday, May 19, 2011

Whatever Works

Woody Allen, 2009, 91m

This is the other end of the spectrum, Woody Allen's latest at 74. He is still enacting himself, except that it's Larry David impersonating Allen, in the guise of a missed genius. There is considerable physical similarity and for quite a time I thought it was Allen himself grown bald and senile, if not less talkative. What emerges is that nothing has changed. People change little if at all, over the course of a lifetime. They return to where they started. The film depicts the relationship of the retired professor with a teenager. The familiar witticisms propel the film which is amusing in a mild way. The title expresses the philosophy which he has presumably derived from his journey of life and one can quote from the script:

"That's why I can't say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works. And don't kid yourself. Because its by no means up to your own human ingenuity. A bigger part of your existence is luck, than you'd like to admit."

This is  self indulgent, good natured, broad minded film with a contemporaneous feel. It would seem that Woody Allen has come full circle to return to the well known films of his younger days. What I found missing was the growth and evolution one might hope a lifetime brings. Except for a\ mellowing  one might say that this takes it's place in his life work as evidence of the stasis that life usually is.


Nathanael Hood said...

I personally didn't like this film...

I felt like it was comprised of old jokes left over from the 70s....

By the way...I just made an important announcement on my site!

Check it out!

S. M. Rana said...

Nothing to sing and dance about, I agree! I'm checking your announcement.