Annie Hall is one of those unique romantic comedies that rises to the top and easily earns a spot in any movie lover's DVD collection. It happens to be my favorite film, like, EVER -- and it's the only romance that could ever contend with my top 5...heck, even 20, movies (barring Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).Perhaps it's my love of New York, especially as envisioned by a late 1970's film crew, or my affection for Woody Allen's expectedly witty, neurotic protagonist -- but sitting down to watch Annie Hall gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside and not to mention, quite a few laughs.
I'm enormously comfortable with the film, though not in the sense that I understand the references more and more with each viewing (I think I'm finally ahead of Diane Keaton's Annie though).
No... my comfort level actually derives from how darned relatable Annie Hall is -- Allen's casually satirical take on the intellectual elites of Manhattan, from almost 30 years ago, is just as funny today. And the small joys and tragedies of love and romance are illustrated in signature Woody Allen fashion; as a writer, he pokes fun at Annie while making it no secret he adores her. The audience can't help but follow suit.
After seeing Shopgirl a second time this past month, I can't help but draw comparisons between the two movies -- not in the plot, the comedy, or the style though. One gets the feeling he or she is watching a film so personal to its screenwriter, watching a character (Annie) who exists offscreen...after all, Annie Hall was written for Keaton. When you're not distracted by Allen's effortless comedy and the film's affable demeanor, the picture becomes bittersweet; there's some very real regret here.
My favorite part in Annie Hall is curiously devoid of Allen's sarcastic banter (though the scene where Alvy and Annie are waiting in line at the movie theater is priceless...as are many others). It's when Annie sings at a club for the second time ("Seems Like Old Times") -- a song that will later play over the final montage.
There's something so soft about this musical moment in the film, where Allen takes a breather. It simply cements Annie Hall as a terribly intimate, endearing work. It just happens to be riddled with the some of the greatest and most hilarious quotes in movie history too.The film that gave a kick to both Allen and Keaton's careers, for good reason, is as hilarious and touching as anything you'll ever see on film.