- Whatever Works review by BE
Woody Allen, master of acerbic wit. Larry David, master at purveying it. What more could you want? Only criticism is lack of subtitles. Script was so fast and with American accents, some of the dialogue was missed.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
One of Woody's lesser films.
- Whatever Works review by Steve Mason
Woody casts Larry David (Boris) as an intellectual misanthrope with zero coping mechanisms who, against his better judgement gives refuge to a southern teenage runaway (Evan Rachel Wood as Melody). After much misogynistic kvetching, he marries her... so drawing in her conservative mother who arrives at his flat like Blanche Dubois, but stays to transform herself into a free thinking/loving Manhattan artist. Then a similar thing happens to Melody's father. So New York serves as a magical medium of transformation.
It's a curious, patchy comedy, with David addressing the camera with his bitter, pessimistic soliloquies which are a pastiche of familiar Allen thematic mannerisms.
It is very superficial. If it works at all it is by making us accept that Boris's rather brutal loathing for himself as well as the whole world is a kind of existential pain, and our pity may be aroused for his relationship with the vulnerable but emotionally giving Melody. But having established that beach head, Allen then shells its tenuous position by disastrously introducing Henry Cavill as a creepy, oleaginous (younger) other man.
Its conclusions are valid but it feels insubstantial, unfinished and too familiar. The theme of the irrationality of love is prominent, but voiced much more succinctly and wittily by Allen elsewhere. Rather than being titled Whatever Works, it might have been more appropriately named Will This Do?
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.