Think Woody Allen Isn't Funny? Here Are 5 Films That May Change Your Mind.
"I don't get Woody Allen."
Woody Allen has directed films for nearly fifty years, and is one of the most prolific filmmakers alive today. Still, many people don't understand what's funny about his nebbish characters. Often, people are asked to view his most famous works, like "Annie Hall" or "Manhattan." While these are great films, some of his funnier moments showcasing different elements of comedy and comic timing can be seen in his less-popular films.
It's worth keeping in mind that it's not necessarily the characters that Allen plays that are humorous. He writes and directs all of his works, and his situations and plotting are often grade-A.
5. Deconstructing Harry
I became a Woody Allen fan through his 1997 film "Deconstructing Harry." Both Kirstie Alley and Judy Davis are stellar as women completely exasperated with Allen's character. Allen's egocentric character, in turn, may be closely based on Allen himself.
Alley plays a psychiatrist married to Allen. She learns that he is having an affair with one of her female patients. In a tirade of profanity, she kicks him out of the house, while a patient sits in the next room.
As a warning: the clip is not safe for work in any way. Alley is fantastic.
Deconstructing Harry (1997) - NSFW, Explicit Language
4. Bullets over Broadway (1994)
Bullets over Broadway, which does not star Woody Allen, is a tale of a young producer (John Cusack) who gets production funding for his stage play from the mob. In return, he must let the gangster's moll have a prominent role. Unfortunately, she's a terrible actress - and while she chokes on stage, her bodyguard (Chazz Palminteri) begins to re-write the show.
By far, the funniest character in the ensemble is Diane Weist, who won an Academy Award for her over-the-top portrayal of drunk, uber-dramatic grand dame Helen Sinclair.
When Cusack falls in love with the elder actress, her ego will not allow her to be surprised, and she encourages him not to speak.
Two martinis, extra dry.
Don't speak! No, no!
3. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex
As in "Deconstructing Harry," Woody Allen again finds comic gold in psychiatrists when Gene Wilder takes the role in "Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But were Afraid to Ask)".
An Albanian shepherd confesses that he's in love with one of his sheep, and that they've had sex. Wilder's wordless reaction is all it takes to hit the ball out of the park, but it's the rest of the story - in which he gets caught having an affair with his patient's sheep - that makes the movie absurdly hysterical.
In love with a sheep.
2. Crimes and Misdemeanors
Crimes and Misdemeanors features Alan Alda as a megalomaniac who hires Woody Allen to make an ego-driven documentary about him. Alda's segments, in which he talks to the camera, name-drops and says banal, trite soundbites are some of the better segments of the film.
"The night Lincoln got shot, you couldn't joke about that."
If it bends...
1. Everyone Says I Love You
Finally, "Everyone Says I Love You" is a musical more than a comedy - but the dance scene with Goldie Hawn in Paris is so damn enjoyable, you'd have to be heartless not to like it - even if you can't stand Woody Allen's onscreen presence.