Thursday, July 02, 2009

Whatever Works

Over the past few years, Woody Allen has tried many different actors to be his surrogate in his films. Some have worked (John Cusack) and some have not (Kenneth Branagh). Larry David is the perfect choice. His character in this new comedy from Mr. Allen is similar to his personality on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but here it's even more abrasive and annoying. Boris worries about death and disease constantly, is negative about everything and appears to have no redeeming qualities at all.

Into his life comes Evan Rachel Wood (in her first comedy, I believe) and somehow these two completely different souls connect. Further complication ensue with the arrival of Patricia Clarkson and Ed Begley Jr. as Ms. Wood's parents. The material is dated (apparently the original script has been kicking around for decades) and the film feels like a throwback to earlier Woody Allen comedies but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

It runs out of steam in the third act but there are plenty of great one-liners and some good acting particularly from Ms. Wood. If you are a fan of both Mr. Allen and Mr. David, you will definitely enjoy "Larry does Woody"...Whatever Works.

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