LOVEFiLM Review: Manhattan (1979)

On the heels of Annie Hall, the Oscar-winning romantic comedy that rocketed Woody Allen to the front ranks of American filmmakers, Manhattan continued Allen’s romantic obsessions in a slightly darker, more pessimistic vein. Allen stars as Isaac Davis, a TV comedy writer sick of the pap he is forced to churn out and harboring dreams of being the great American novelist. His love life is in barbed-wire territory: he is tormented by his second ex-wife Jill (Meryl Streep), a lesbian who has written a tell-all book about their marriage, and he is dating teenager Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), to whom he refuses to commit, and keeps hinting that a breakup may be imminent. Isaac’s disillusioned (and married) best friend Yale (Michael Murphy) has begun an affair with the cerebral writer Mary Wilke (Diane Keaton). While Isaac makes a last minute, sink-or-swim decision to quit his job and devote all of his time to book writing, and neurotically moans about what the lack of a full time job will do to him (“My parents won’t have as good of a seat in the synagogue,” he moans. “They’ll be far away from God… away from the action”) Yale is crippled by his lack of resolve, as indicated by his inability to leave his wife Emily (Anne Byrne). Meanwhile, Isaac and Mary begin to fall for one another. Tracy then tells Isaac the basic truth that none of his hung-up friends and past lovers fully realizes: “You have to have a little more faith in people.”

Manhattan is only the second Woody Allen I’ve watched. I’m hoping to delve more into his back catalogue. Unfortunately its picking the right ones because even though Allen has a very large filmography, not all of them are good. Someone should tell him its quality, not quantity.

I really liked Manhattan, like with most Woody Allen films there always personal and are about a point in the mans life. And like that man the film has a fantastic script with wonderfully snappy and hilarious dialogue. It’s certainly one of his best films but at this time I prefer Annie Hall.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: