How does it all come to be? The beginnings, the middles and the ends of our relationships? You see only the end and wonder what went wrong, the flaws invisible until you trudge back. Annie Hall starts at the end and takes us through the life of comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The highs and the lows laid bare.
The film is a series of conversations. A location will be chosen and Alvy will start talking. Sometimes to someone, sometimes in his head and other times to us. Nothing really physical takes place throughout and you best be prepared for an hour and a half of Alvy prattling on about everything. But the prattling is a good kind, he always has something worth saying, either funny or meaningful. As we learn the problems and opinions through discussion, so many memorable quotes pour out, it is a gold mine for comebacks and strange analogies. Alvy and Annie work wonderfully together and it focuses on their romance, rather than jumping off into subplots and detours. Despite jumping through time and breaking the fourth wall, Annie Hall is straightforward, yet ultimately clever and daring.
The film likes to try different ways to display Alvy’s persona. We see him walking up to the screen, as a child living under a roller coaster and even in cartoon form. In a sense I can see the movie, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, must have gathered some inspiration from the themes of relationship meltdown and how to present it. Annie Hall takes a far more amusing approach though, one which makes light work of a heavy subject, yet giving us the reality of how someone would feel at the right moments.
It could be a little more action led, but when the dialogue is so good, does it matter?
A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.
I don’t think no movement or visual display can match that when it comes showcasing what a relationship is.