Roger Ebert once quipped that Annie Hall was “just about everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie.” Well, I can’t disagree, because I have now joined this particular collective. Annie Hall is probably the closest to a perfect movie I’ve ever seen. Perfectly acted, perfectly written, perfectly structured; it knows exactly what kind of movie it should be, and it fully succeeds at being it. It so easily toys with conventions and linearity and the fourth-wall that it comes off as child’s play to the audience, who can’t help but feel whimsical no matter what’s happening. The classic comedy the film is built on keeps the entire run of the movie in a constant state of amusement, without having to require direct laughs out of its viewers one after another (although there are many).
I am a sucker for overly witty scripts, so Woody Allen is an immediate favorite, and this is him at his best. You can hear the crackle of the dialogue as it passes through your mind; if Aaron Sorkin had any influences, I’d bet Woody Allen would be one of them. Diane Keaton is absolutely lovable, not to mention Woody Allen himself in an Oscar-nominated performance. The only qualm I tend to have with Woody Allen films is that underneath everything, most of the good ones tend to be very same-y. Well, now I know why: Annie Hall was the progenitor of them all, and like most progenitors it outclasses all it’s successors easily. I can’t go on about how well made this film is. Comedy fans, screenwriting fans, don’t miss out on this one.
Arbitrary Rating: 10/10