Posted by martinteller on January 28, 2012
I hesitated to purchase this Blu-Ray, and I see now that I shouldn’t have. Oh, it’s a good movie (go ahead and peek at my score, it’s “Good”). But it keeps slipping further down my Woody Allen list. The cinematography by Gordon Willis is unassailable, no complaints there. I don’t think there’s much competition for Woody’s best-looking film. And the Gershwin music makes a terrific romantic counterpart. The script is certainly witty, there’s a number of great lines. But I wouldn’t rank it among his funniest. That’s fine, not every one has to be wall-to-wall laughs. There are some nice insights into the irrationality and confusion of relationships, especially neurotic ones. Allen and Keaton are both wonderful, in fact it may be one of Allen’s best performances. I love some of his expressions and mannerisms when Keaton breaks it off with him. But Michael Murphy doesn’t do much for me, and Mariel Hemingway is a zero. Her vacant stare and dead line readings do nothing to convey the maturity and intelligence she’s supposed to project.
And that brings us to the Ick Factor. I mean… ick. I’m a couple years younger than Allen’s character, and the thought of dating of a 17 year-old is repulsive to me. It’s just… ICK! And I don’t mean just sexually. I don’t care what hoity-toity schools you went to or how clever you are, there’s a world of difference between the maturity of 17 and 42. And yet no one in the film treats it like a big deal. There are some mild protestations from his friends, but they’re mostly playful. Allen has some reservations about it, but pedophilia triumphs in the end. Okay, she’s 18 then, but it’s still creepy and weird how casually it’s dealt with. Where are this girl’s parents? I suppose they’re sophisticated New Yorkers so they don’t mind.
Some might say I’m nitpicking, some might even say I’m missing the point. They might be right. I can’t get past it, though. It bugs me more each time. I doubt I’ll watch it again, but it’s already been 4 or 5 times anyway. Rating: Good