Hate Week. Hate Week. Hate Week.
I hate Woody Allen. And while I’m not alone on this, I probably hate him for different reasons than say, Hitler or Mia Farrow would. I hate him because he’s so talented that he’s never had to make more than one movie. That one movie is an heartwarming mix of bittersweet humor and heart-rending tragedy, directed with a sensitivity to the more dramatic aspects of the material and performed with impeccable comic timing, and it gets made once a year around Oscar time. Allen is like a grade 9 kid who can play Stairway To Heaven really well on the guitar, but he does it at every single house party in the first semester of the year so eventually people stop inviting him places and he joins the band to make friends. Except that even the kids in the band are sick of that song, since Led Zeppelin is cool to no one but my dad and high school art teachers reliving the 70s rock scene like an acid flashback, so even that doesn’t work, and he’s relegated to sobbing quietly and slowly playing the main riff to Black Dog with an unplugged amp in the corner of his room. Every once in a while his mother will come up stairs and offer to fix him a snack of lightly salted sliced cucumbers, but even that won’t help cheer him up, and still he won’t. Stop. Playing. That. Fucking. Song. It’s like falling into a coma while listening to a classic rock radio station.
Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that Allen never stopped being funny, or talented. He just stopped bothering to be innovative or fresh, and Broadway Danny Rose is a prime example of this. The tragedy is that this was evident way back in 1984 when this film was made, and still nothing was done to stop the man from making Melinda and Melinda. Aside from a remarkable turn by Mia Farrow, this story of a failing Broadway agent and his one chance at success is indistinguishable from Allen’s previous work, as well as the films that would follow it. There are some nice flourishes, but if I wanted to see Woody Allen kvetch and stutter, I’d kill myself right dead, because I would clearly be developing early onset Alzheimer’s and have forgotten his first two dozen films. It’s too repetitive, too familiar, and too predictable. You know from before the credits roll what the first frame will be, like the familiar first sentence of a favorite novel, or an uninspired blog. Stay tuned tomorrow for something else I hate.