Annie Hall (1977)
“Everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie,” as Roger Ebert put it, this romantic comedy proved to be the point at which Woody Allen pivoted from zany comedy director to emotionally inquisitive auteur. While the movie is unquestionably hilarious — “I have to — I have to go now, Duane, because I, I’m due back on the planet Earth” — its closing moments show a new maturity and emotional honesty previously unseen in Allen’s movies:
“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 going through it because, uh, most of us… need the eggs.”
The movie is also one of Allen’s earlier attempts to seriously capture the culture and styles of ’70s New York City, with the central characters attending movies, walking the city, and in general discussing the styles and intellectual topics of the day. Shot all over Manhattan and Long Island, the movie is full of New York City oddities, including a real house situated underneath a rollercoaster (both of which, sadly, have since been torn down).
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