Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
Director: Woody Allen
Running Time: 96 mins
Annie Hall is an American film about a paranoid New York comedian who falls in love with a quirky singer from Wisconsin named Annie Hall.
This is an absolutely fantastic film, and by far one of Woody Allen’s best. It’s not only a touching and realistic love story, but it’s also hugely funny, and extremely intelligent, what with its brilliant use of a very loose narrative structure, subtle and unorthodox humour and breaking the fourth wall.
Let’s start with the main part of the whole story, the romance and the main characters. The best thing about the romance is that it’s very understated, realistic, but consistently has an atmosphere of positivity.
Too many times do romantic dramas go too far in either the direction of extreme and unrealistic passionate love, or consistent arguing and quarrelling that makes for an unpleasant watch, however, here, the two main characters always remain these down-to-earth, likeable people, and even when they go through bad times, you still can’t help but loving them.
Woody Allen, despite playing his typical character, is fantastic, but it’s Diane Keaton who really stands out here as Annie Hall. Annie is one of the most fantastically lovely and likeable characters you’ll ever see on screen, and Keaton’s brilliant performance makes that air of pleasantness so much more realistic and believable than you’d think, only drawing you more and more towards liking her.
Sometimes, Woody Allen films can get a bit of criticism for being a bit high-class, and not really funny on a more simplistic entertainment level. That’s certainly true for some, but it’s definitely not the case here. This film has got loads of big laughs throughout, as if you’re watching a full-blown comedy, and that makes it a very entertaining film, but there is still Allen’s more famous wit within the story too.
The way that the humour is actually deployed often in this film is fascinating. Apart from the slapstick, there are occasions when Woody Allen’s character will turn towards the camera and begin a monologue, as if he’s doing a stand-up observational comedy routine, which is not only original and exciting to see, but it also makes the humour he’s doing more relatable to you, and in turn, even funnier.
Finally, the structure of the story is very impressive too. It starts off as a non-linear romantic drama, and that works very well in the establishment phase of the various characters, and although it ultimately streamlines into a more standard structure later on, it always feels very loose and flexible, something that strangely contributes to making this such an easy-going, entertaining, interesting and incredibly pleasant watch, and that’s why it gets an 8.5 from me.