Annie Hall (1977)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ out of 5
Directed by Woody Allen
Starring Woody Allen as Alvy Singer
Diane Keaton as Annie Hall
Alvy Singer, a television comedian, looks back on his relationship with Annie, trying to figure out where the relationship failed.
Annie Hall is by far, my favorite Woody Allen movie. And when he’s made so many excellent films, that means a lot. This movie achieves what few movies of it’s kind can, it’s gut-bustingly hilarious, and maintains that hilarity even when it reaches monumentally deep truths. Annie Hall manages to make you think, while it’s making you laugh. It’s the very definition of a smart comedy. It also sparked an entire sub-genre of rom-coms. The “destined to fail relationship, and you know that the whole time” rom-com. Films where we see the end of the relationship at the beginning, and we jump through the story to see why it failed. Movies like 500 Days of Summer, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have followed what Annie Hall did. It was revolutionary in it’s genre. No happy ending, no surprise “I love you after all”, no real resolution. At the end, Alvy Singer still doesn’t know why his relationship with Annie failed. But that’s not the point of the film either, it’s a character study of Alvy, showing how his mind is piecing this together, through monologues, through fourth wall breaks, through little other flashbacks. All this helps us understand who Alvy is. Woody Allen gives, what I believe to be his best performance ever in this movie. He may play the same kind of character as Alvy Singer often, but this is definitely the role that required the most depth, and the most range. Allen is spectacular. Not only does he give a great performance, but I’d say Annie Hall is the film where Woody finally found his footing as a director. As much as I love his early movies, like Bananas, they aren’t all that great in terms of filmmaking. Annie Hall is the film where Woody finally got a full grasp on his directorial style. This is just all together one of the best movies ever made. Definitely one of my favorites, and arguably the best romantic comedy ever. Say what you will about Woody Allen, but the man is a genius.