Friday, April 24, 2009
Woody Allen and Robert Deniro have become the same person
This result does not bode well for film society. Do I really have to see another Woody film with bitter Old Man Allen (this time in the guise of Larry David, who obviously didn't, couldn't know better) having a fling with an under age girl? Well, yes, cause I did. I saw the premiere of "Whatever Works", which doesn't, by the way. Look, I dig young women, but it's kinda creepy seeing someone Larry David (or Allen)'s age with a nubile youngin'. Nuff said on that. As for the movie? The wealthy and industry types at the Ziegfeld ate it up, yucking it down like good lil' Woody Allen disciples, yet it's merely another claustrophobic upper middle class character exposé of his that's, well, impossible for most people to relate to. Allen, like Dylan (or Deniro too for that matter), can lay a turd and people will buy it it seems.
"Whatever Works" was born apparently of previous unused Allen scribblings, and you can tell, especially when he uses a character story line identical to one he used in Vicki Christina Barcelona (involving one character being discovered to be a great photographer and then achieving overnight success and a threesome-Patricia Clarkson in this film as opposed to Scarlet Johanson in Allen's previous, far better film). This is a a hodgepodge retread film if there's ever been one. Larry David, a non-actor, does his best when he's improvising his own jokes, otherwise, his is the worst Woody impersonation since Kenneth Branagh all-out sucked in Celebrity I thought. Hey, I dig David, am Enthusiastic about his Curb, but he shouldn't read scripted lines, not on film anyway-stay on the small screen.
The one, true, great scene in the film was one I'd never seen in an Allen film before. Yeah, we know he's forever gonna exploit the unrealistic bond between hot young chicks and out of touch old complainin' well-off dudes, but in this film there is this one scene between Ed Begley Jr. (who I liked for the first time) and another actor kvetching about losing their respective wives that unravels uncharacteristically for the Woodster. The other guy's wife's name was Norman you see, and, well, let's just say that Begley in turn has an awakening of sorts (Begley's ex in the film is played by Clarkson, who's wonderful by the way).
As for our festival don, Deniro (a strangley bitter rich man it seems, not so unlike Allen apparently) well, he entered the Roylton Hotel afterparty for this Tri-blech-a Film Fest premiere, walked right through and immediately (or so it seemed to me) exited out the back. I wondered why that place was picked for the event up to that moment. A clusterfuck inside, it was the perfect side street to side street entrance exit for any bored stars who just needed to show up. In closing, the Tribeca flim flam fest seems to have become a photo-op only event. It positively sucked two years ago, was revived somewhat last year, but this year so far it seems like Deniro's set to make it suck yet again, we'll see (I do like his policy though that no Sundance films can be included in the fest, that works for me).