Annie Hall


How can I explain why Annie Hall, released 30 years ago this very day, has become a major marker in my life? Why I’ve seen it at least four times in the theater, and is one of the very first VHS tapes I ever purchased?

*Alvy Singer, Woody Allen’s character in the movie, HATES to go to a movie after it started. Me, too. That’s partly because I almost sat on someone’s lap in a darkened theater, but still.
*When I lived in NYC that summer of ’77, I hung out around Washington Square Park.
*Alvy hates Los Angeles; I’ve never been.
*Paul Simon, of whom I was/am a big fan, made his movie debut as Tony Lacey.
*The cocaine scene in the movie? Definitely plausible.
*Sigourney Weaver made her film debut as “Alvy’s date outside theater”.
*It informed me that comedy can be intelligent and funny.
*Variety said expand the scene in “Annie Hall” where Woody visits Diane Keaton’s family & you’ve got Meet the Parents. I’ve met parents; it’s almost ALWAYS like that.
*Christopher Walken played Annie’s neurotic brother Duane.
*There’s a split screen scene where Annie and Alvy discuss their sex life. He: She never wants to have sex, only three times a week. She: He wants to have sex all the time – three times a week. Yup.
*I’ve been in a relationship where this dialogue took place: “A relationship is like a shark; it has to move forward or it dies. What we have here is a dead shark.”
*Film critic John Simon said about it: “Repetitious and aimless as to seem to beg for oblivion”. He didn’t like Star Wars either.
*I always liked the fact that Diane Keaton’s given name was Diane Hall. (In case you were wondering, Woody Allen was Allen Stewart Konigsberg.)
*”You only gave me books with the word ‘death’ in the title”. I relate to this, too.
*I went through an unfortunate period when I said, “La-dee-dah, la-dee-dah.” A lot.
*Woody Allen finally got some Oscar love. He was nominated for acting in, directing & writing; he won for the latter 2.
***
Go see what Fred Hembeck did on April 10. Careful readers of this blog may already know, since he, his family, and I all were together.

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5 thoughts on “Annie Hall

  1. Aw, yes. Annie Hall’s easily in my top 5 movies of all time list. I remember taping it off TV back in the 1980s and watching it so many times the tape broke. I wish one day Allen would release the forgotten “original” cut “Anhedonia” which apparently had like a half-hour more plot to it (and probably didn’t work at all, but I’d still be curious to see it.)

  2. GP- Not exactly, but the scene does resonate with me, in terms of my general klutziness of the time.
    Nik- I’d like to see the extended version too, maybe on a DVD re-release someday.

    And one of my favorte part of the film is the end, where the actors playing Alvy and Annie have their happy ending, juxtaposed with what the “real” Annie and Alvy were doing.

  3. You realize now I won’t get the image of you going around saying “La de dah, la de dah” out of my head for some time to come.

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