There are few things I love in this world more than New York City, and I mean few things. There are some family members I love less than my heels clicking on that well-worn pavement, the smell of burning street food, or even that very specific garbage-like aroma which seems to only exist in Manhattan. So, naturally I’m attracted to movies that display NYC in all her gritty glory.
“Don’t you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here.”
From the moment I started watching Annie Hall I knew I had a favorite. Sure, New York was her shining self, but this had something so much more. Annie Hall reflected back all the (neurotic) feelings I live with on a daily basis. I was Woody Allen, albeit female and free of any suspicious behavior involving young children.
“There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.”
I mean, I’m the girl who walks out of coffee shops to avoid semi-awkward encounters with other peoples ex’s, and filling my tank with gas causes so much anxiety, I usually wait until I’m driving on nothing but fumes and a prayer.
Let’s also please discuss the invaluable relationship advice, because this movie is filled to the brim. I’m convinced I’ve changed the course of peoples lives with the shark analogy, and the concept of love fading? That was depressing even for Woody Allen, even if it was one of the most honest lines ever to be spoken out loud. Yes, love fades and it sucks.
I’m also convinced that Christopher Walken is as terrifying in real life as he is in this scene. Try not to think about this every single time you are driving on the highway during a down pour. Also, haven’t we all had that fantasy at one point or another, ADMIT IT!
Duane: Can I confess something? I tell you this as an artist, I think you’ll understand. Sometimes when I’m driving. . .on the road at night. . .I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The. . .flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.
Alvy Singer: Right. Well, I have to – I have to go now, Duane, because I, I’m due back on the planet Earth.
I myself have never been to LA, but I’m still pretty sure this vapid portrayal is spot on, plus it provides for a very special cameo from Jeff Goldblum. My God, can a human man be sexier?
Please note that this scene sparked my ongoing attraction to tall Jewish nerds.
“I don’t want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.”
Last, but certainly not least, that final scene, my God, that final scene.
“After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I… I realized what a terrific person she was, and… and how much fun it was just knowing her; and I… I, I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and… but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because, uh, most of us… need the eggs.”
I guess Annie Hall is still my favorite because it’s honesty still rings true decades later. A relationship is not always the sum of it’s parts. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of really beautiful moments you will one day reflect back on and be grateful it ever happened to begin with.
Happy Annie Hall watching.