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Movie Review: Anything Else

Story: I needed to ingest a heavy dose of New Yorkese before I left for my vacation and there is nothing like a Woody Allen film to make one's heart aflutter for the best that New York has to offer - visually.

I wish I could say the same for his latest film -- but it is too uneven and meandering to warrant a good recommendation, so sadly - I can only give it a Bronx cheer.

Allen has chosen to tell his recycled story using two neurotic twenty-somethings as the characters who are having relationship difficulties. They are repeat patterns of many of his past characters. The young man is merely a mirror image of the Woody Allen of thirty years ago replete with gestures, stuttering, pfumphering and one liners. The young female is not unlike an updated version of Annie Hall (without the charm).

The good thing is I had my usual dose of good laughs (Woody Allen always makes me laugh). The interior shots were fabulous, detailed and visually exciting. Manhattan also looked terrific, rich, vibrant and inviting throughout. Allen skewers relationships and psychotherapy like never before.

I am a big fan of Woody Allen and would never miss one of his films. If you are still a fan, even though there are some disappointments -- it is an honor to sit through a great film maker's vision for all these years.

Acting: Jason Biggs, of the American Pie trilogy (can you imagine that there were three of these films)? is quite good as the young man. He shows some promise and is quite pleasant to look at. Christina Ricci, as Amanda, held her own in a part that sometimes made me eye-roll. Woody Allen, as Dobell, the mentor, was his usual entertaining self.

Predilection: I like Woody Allen.

Critters: Dogs seen from afar in Central Park.

Food: Sandwiches from the Stage Deli, Indian food and lots of soda.

Visual Art: Visually it was a grand treat with each apartment filled with posters, paintings and prints.

Blatant Product Placement: Stage Deli and New York City.

Soundtrack: Delightful, as always.

Opening Titles: Allen always uses his simple black and white signature titles, typeface and credits.

Theater Audience: A few loyal fans and my movie buddy (who is not a fan) but wanted to see the film with me anyway.

Predictability Level: Moderate.

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: It was too long. Woody Allen abides by my standard 'under the two hour rule' -- and even though this was under two hours...it seemed much longer.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental is fine unless you are a fan. If you want to see some of Christina Ricci's films, how about renting: Sleepy Hollow, Pecker, The Opposite of Sex, The Ice Storm, Bastard Out of Carolina, The Addams Family and Mermaids?

Length: 110 minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 5