The best things in life are free – as I discovered this past weekend flicking through the Culture magazine in the Sunday Times. Free tickets to Woody Allen’s latest movie? Why not? The preview screening was held in Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin.
A really underrated venue, everyone should check it out. I’m glad I did because although not one of Allen’s classics, Whatever Works is certainly another solid entry in the directors vast filmography. Apparently a ‘lost script’ from the 70’s, Whatever Works treads familiar Woody Allen territory – neuroticism, intellectualism, New York and relationships between older men and younger women. Filling the typical Woody Allen lead role is Curb Your Enthusiasm writer/director/star Larry David. He is suited perfectly to the role of Boris, the cynical ‘genius’ who looks down on all but everything and everyone. He believes life is meaningless – that is until Melody comes along to mess his mantra entirely. Homeless in New York, she initially moves in with Boris but soon becomes attached. She is lovable and sometimes a little dim, a stark contrast to Boris, yet they bond as she gradually adopts his bleakered views.
As with all of Allen’s work, there are some great one liners and also great expressionistic comedy acting from David. Rachel Evan Wood is great as Boris’ wife Melody, bringing heaps of charm to her role. In all, there is nothing new to see here (and that’s not a bad thing). If you’ve seen the likes of Annie Hall, Manhattan or Vicky Cristina Barcelona then you will know what to expect with Whatever Works. Also, I brought a Woody Allen newbie to the screening and they also loved it. Woody Allen has proved once again that despite being well into his seventies he can still produce fresh and relevant work, affirming his status as one of the finest filmmakers of our time.