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ANYTHING ELSE

Some things in Woody Allen movies never change. The opening titles, the jazz score, and the New York setting are trademarks — which is why it takes a little while to realize that Anything Else represents a return to form for Allen. There are jokes about therapy, masturbation, God — and they’re actually funny. Whereas his recent films have felt labored, there’s a refreshing lightness here.

Perhaps this is due to Woody’s happy realization that he’s too old to star in his own films. His alter ego here is Jason Biggs as a young comedy writer in a relationship with unstable would-be actress Christina Ricci, whose insecurities and hang-ups threaten to ruin things. The plot sounds a lot like Annie Hall, but it turns out that a rehash of good Woody Allen movies is still pretty good. Biggs doesn’t bring much more to the table than a Woody Allen impression, but Allen himself is funny as a paranoid schoolteacher who decides to break into the comedy scene at age 60. The film is being marketed as a teen comedy, but don’t be fooled — this is a Woody Allen movie. (96 minutes)


Issue Date: September 19 - 25, 2003
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