Maybe its time Woody Allen stops making movies. In “”Anything Else”" Woody’s, 38th movie (I believe) he has clearly run out of things to say. Now I’ll admit I’ve never been a Woody fan, I don’t particularly like his on-screen persona, and frankly I’ve never liked his films. He just doesn’t appeal to me and frankly I just don’t get the Woody Allen “”thing.”" I went into “”Anything Else”" with little to no expectations.
“”Anything Else,”" is a Romantic Comedy set in, surprise, shocker, New York. I guess in Hollywood the only place where people meet and fall in love is in either NY or L.A. It seems extremely rare that we get a romantic comedy set in another location. I guess people in Idaho or Washington, DC don’t fall in love. “”American Pie’s”" Jason Biggs plays Jerry Falk a comedy writer with issues of commitment. Unlike most males, Jerry commits too much, he has a problem detaching himself from people in his life, as he repeatedly tells the audience (literally, and I’ll get to this in a moment) he’s never left a girlfriend, and doesn’t know how to break off a relationship because he fears loneliness.It seems that he needs to get rid of everyone in his life, from his bad manager Harvey (Danny DeVito), to his Psychologist, to his neurotic girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci).Jerry is stuck in this sea of bad relationships until he meets the weirdo, older writer David Dobel (Woody Allen) who immediately takes a liking to the younger man and decides to become his mentor, and serve as a council. Nothing in it struck me as being real, it was bad enough that we had to listen to numerous long stretches of monologues from Woody pontificating about his twisted view of life, and anti-Semitism (which I guess was supposed to be funny), but then Jason Biggs’ character was one of the most annoying, and whiny characters that I’ve ever had the displeasure of spending time with. Not only that, but Biggs’ character was nothing more than an extension of Woody. Everything out of his mouth seemed to be more of Woody than any semblance of a real character. What made the matter worse was the use of “”talking to the audience.”" Not only did this film have voiceovers, which is one of my immediate turnoffs, but in almost every scene, Biggs would stop what he’s doing or saying, look to the camera and tell the audience what he is thinking!! Nothing says, “”I’m watching fake characters, and a movie,”" more than when Jerry breaks character in almost every scene to talk to the audience!!!! I guess we’re just to damn stupid to understand what is going on in the scene. We need to have Jerry tell us what he is thinking or why he’s acting the way he is. If a film does this ONE time, it’s an automatic C Grade for me, but “”Anything Else”" does this in almost EVERY scene.There is nothing worse than hating a movie within the first 10 minutes and being forced to sit through it for another two hours. There wasn’t a single likeable or realistic character or situation in this movie. And do they not have black people or other minorities in NY?I will say the acting and direction was ok and competent. The problem with the film was the piss poor script and incredibly lame dialog and flat, stale, “”jokes.”" If you like Woody Allen, you may find this tolerable, I don’t. Is this the worst film of the year? Heck no, nowhere close. Is it the most irritating movie of the year? Heck, yes. Final Grade FAnything Else ReviewBy Michelle Alexandria9/19/03