Sunday, July 5, 2009
"Whatever Works"; Larry David; Woody Allen
It is no secret or great surprise that I like Larry David and I'll watch/read all he does.
You see, to me, Larry David is like a soft 100% cotton, straight-lined shirt. They both beg for attention and I give in every single time regardless of how much of both I have had. There is no curbing of the appetite, so to speak.
A bit of context might be needed here. I first resisted getting into Larry David's work because the good half knew about him before I did. You see, it wasn't a case of unbridled egotism or vain narcissism on my part that stood in the way. It was just artistic slothfulness, I suppose. I already had too many things I was liking at the time and I didn't think I had enough mental space to process something new.
But, of course, I gave in. I started watching Curb and well, the rest is history. If you do a Larry David or Curb Your Enthusiasm keyword search on this blog, you'll get the point. To bring the point home let me just say that I pulled more than a few all-nighters when going over Curb seasons. Yes, Larry's definitely a strong like.
The long intro serves a purpose here. I saw Woody Allen's new film Whatever Works. Of course, I would. And naturally I laughed out loud in the theater as I tend to do in Allen pictures.
Woody Allen doesn't have to try hard to make me, B.R., the movie goer, to like him. B.R., the film reader, however might be a different story. Allen's Spiel tends to be unrelentingly consistent: life is hard, life is tragic, life is random, life sucks. So, you might as well get whatever joy you can while you're at it.
This mantra is also the premise of Whatever Works.
What makes this film particularly enjoyable is Larry David who couldn't be a better seller of Allen-isms. David's character, Boris Yellnikov, is certain he lives in a world where "Neanderthals," as he calls them, run amock and stupidity is sold by the pound. Here are some of the quotes Boris utters:
"On the whole, I'm sorry to say, we're a failed species."
"I'm a man with a huge worldview, I'm surrounded by microbes."
"This is not the feel-good movie of the year. So if you're one of those idiots who needs to feel good, go get yourself a foot massage."
And my very favorite from the film:
"If I can understand quantum mechanics, I can certainly understand the thought process of a submental baton twirler."
What else can I say other then, if you're already a Woody Allen and Larry David fan, naturally, you have to go watch this film.
In addition, it features nigh pitch-perfect playing by the talented and at-times underappreciated Patricia Clarkson and Evan Rachel Wood.
And let me not forget to mention another great character, New York City itself which is captured as lovingly by Allen as he could.