“Oh, face it, Allan: you may be very sweet, but you’re not sexy.”
When his wife (Susan Anspach) leaves him, a neurotic film critic (Woody Allen) enlists the help of his married friends (Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts) and Humphrey Bogart (Jerry Lacy) in navigating the world of dating.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Diane Keaton Films
- Herbert Ross Films
- Movie Buffs
- Play Adaptation
- Romantic Comedy
- Woody Allen Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “consistently funny” adaptation of Woody Allen’s Broadway play (directed by Herbert Ross) was “the picture that really established Allen’s screen persona”. In typical Allen fashion, his avatar — whose first name is Allan — is a “depressed, neurotic, self-effacing sexual klutz” who mouths one-liners incessantly (when Keaton is impressed that he got her a birthday present, he notes, “You mentioned the date and I remembered because it’s the same day my mother had her hysterectomy”). His series of awful first dates — a narrative sequence which has been done in films many times since, but never as successfully — is truly hilarious, and, though obviously exaggerated, nonetheless rings true in every respect.
Buoying the film tremendously is the genuine rapport we sense between Keaton and Allen — it’s remarkably easy to imagine them as friends, and we feel for Keaton when her workaholic husband (well played by Tony Roberts) neglects her so egregiously that she looks outside her marriage for love. The final scene — a nearly blow-by-blow replica of the infamous “tarmac scene” in Casablanca — is, as noted by DVD Savant, perhaps not quite as fresh as it must once have seemed, but remains an effective ending to this cinephilic homage .
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
Yes, as early evidence of Allen’s comedic genius.