WHATEVER WORKS (2009)

whatever

Written & Directed By: Woody Allen
Cinematography By: Harris Savides
Editor: Alisa Lepselter

CAST: Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson, Ed Begley Jr., Samantha Bee, Michael McKean

A middle-aged, misanthropic divorcée from New York City surprisingly enters a fulfilling, Pygmalion-type relationship with a much younger, unsophisticated Southern girl.

The film feels more like a play then a film just a play that uses a lot of exterior locations. Not that good of a play but a ok farce. The film just feels lazy like it has no energy. Which is a shame as it was coming off a Actual good film VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA

The main Attraction to see the Film is star Larry David but the results are not quite as good as you would think it would be. While playing a character it’s not too much a departure from him playing himself. Only here he is more of a downer and a scientist.

It strangely fits into the director’s and the star’s wheelhouse of comedy and characters and yet it ends up disappointing.

Usually in films the main character is supposed to change or at least learn a lesson from the beginning to the end. Here his character is basically the same and learns nothing. He just changes his outlook a bit.

The Film is about a cynical Scientist who decides to take in a southern runaway and marries her then all of a sudden her parents come to new york to be reunited with her and take her back home and find themselves under the spell of New York to change there lives and be there true selves.

Woody Allen has said that this was not a new script he wrote recently but a script he wrote in the seventies that he never really finished so he stuck it in a drawer and only recently found it and finished it. Maybe there was a good reason he hid it away back then. He was a lot sharper of mind and probably realized it wasn’t that good or original so e hid it away now he seems to be running out of steam so he finally makes it because he really can’t think of anything. That is also how the film plays no insight or effort it just lays there. While some of the ideas are still there and funny it feels uninspired.

One of the main problems of the film is that there never seems to be anything at risk for any of the characters in any way shape or form. No emotional changes they just seem to exist and very few things happen then they change slightly. The only real change is in lifestyle for the two supporting characters who come to New York and stop being repressed and open up to a new lifestyle. Yet it happens so quick and gimmicky it just feels false.

Even the ending is too neatly wrapped up in a cute cookie cutter kind of way.

I am a huge woody Allen fan and a big Larry David film and found this disappointing not as bad as Allen’s recent dreadful output but not too much better either. As usual it has it’s charms but if the film was made by any other director it would be considered subpar. It’s only noteworthy because of Mr. Allen and Mr. David. Watch only if you are a completist.

GRADE: D

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