HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Anything Else Never Trust A Naked Bus Driver
Year: 2003
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Jason Biggs, Woody Allen, Christina Ricci, Danny DeVito, Stockard Channing, KaDee Strickland, Erica Leerhsen, Jimmy Fallon, William Hill, Fisher Stevens, David Conrad
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Aspiring writer Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs) currently scripts jokes for comedians, but is finding the work unsatisfying. Through his manager (Danny DeVito), he met David Dobel (Woody Allen), a 60 year old schoolteacher who also tries to make a living as a joke writer, and they strike up a friendship where Dobel dispenses fatherly advice to the younger Jerry. Jerry is seeing an unhelpful psychiatrist about his problems, which include his girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci), who he illustrates her lax attitude to keeping a love affair alive by telling of her poor timekeeping, as seen when Jerry turns up to meet her at a restaurant to celebrate their anniversary and she arrives some time later, already having eaten. Despite his disappointment with Amanda, Jerry remains besotted, but is haunted by the feeling that he really should be doing better with his life...

Written by director and star Allen, Anything Else was a return to his more traditional New York comedy in the style of Annie Hall, only this time, too old to play the lead, he takes a supporting role in his usual neurotic comedy character. Nevertheless, the film is still unmistakeably Allen's with the quips, the preoccupations with the existence (or not) of God and the meaning of life, romantic troubles and someone feeling nauseous at one point. It begins with Allen and Biggs sitting on a park bench and holding a discussion, whereupon Biggs turns to the camera, as he does in a few instances throughout the film, and tries to explain what's going on. Then we are treated to a flashback to see how Dobel and Jerry met, and then another flashback within that one to see how Amanda and Jerry met.

Jerry already had a girlfriend when he initially saw Amanda, girlfriend of his old friend, but it was lust at first sight - for him, if not for her. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Amanda only really enjoys a romantic relationship if it's with a man other than that which she is supposed to be faithful to, so she happily starts seeing Jerry behind his friend's back. Soon they have moved in with each other, but some months later they are having problems. I don't know how obvious Allen intended it to be, but Amanda is patently the wrong person for Jerry (who would she be right for?, we end up wondering), and Ricci plays up her selfish aspect to the hilt so that she's not so much a person, more another good reason for Jerry to leave his life behind and start afresh.

Biggs, however, is essaying an alternative Woody role, but it's amusing to see Dobel as Jerry's mentor to his younger self, especially as he has his own deep seated hangups which he transfers to Jerry. Dobel is nothing short of paranoid, whether it's believing that anti-Semitism is not only rife in society but continually aimed at him personally, or forcing him to grow obsessed with survivalism - it's pretty funny to imagine him trying to fend for himself in the wilderness with his guns and floating torch. These worries rub off on Jerry, and he buys a rifle and survival paraphernalia at Dobel's insistence, even though we never see a situation where he could reasonably use it. Earlier, Dobel has told the tale of how he was locked away in a mental institution for violent behaviour, something which is difficult to accept.

Until that is, we see him take revenge on a car which stole his parking space by smashing its windows, and we realise that Jerry has to get out of New York and leave all the people he knows behind because not only are they holding him back, but are spoiling his chances too. His manager only has him as a client, but basically tries to get him the worst jobs for the worst comedians, as all the while Jerry's frustrations in wanting to be a serious writer fray his nerves. When Amanda's mother (Stockard Channing) moves in with them and interrupts one night of creativity with cocaine, and when Jerry spies on Amanda to see her getting friendly with another man, he comes to the decision to move on. Dobel, who he has been quoting like the intellectuals he idolises, suggests an escape route and it's surely not much of a choice to go or stay. Anything Else is pretty straightforward, but is attractively acted and features enough good lines to make it worthwhile, even if it's none too memorable.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7003 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Woody Allen  (1935 - )

American writer/director/actor and one of the most distinctive talents in American film-making over the last three decades. Allen's successful early career as a stand-up comedian led him to start his directing life with a series of madcap, scattershot comedies that included Bananas, Sleeper and Love and Death. 1975's Oscar-winning Annie Hall was his first attempt to weave drama and comedy together, while 1979's Manhattan is considered by many critics to be Allen's masterpiece.

Throughout the 80s Allen tried his hand at serious drama (Another Woman), warm comedy (Broadway Danny Rose, Radio Days) and more experimental films (Zelig, Stardust Memories). Some were great, some less so, but pictures like Hannah and her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanours are among the decade's best.

The 90s saw Allen keep up his one-film-a-year work-rate, the most notable being the fraught Husbands and Wives, gangster period piece Bullets Over Broadway, the savagely funny Deconstructing Harry and the under-rated Sweet and Lowdown. After a run of slight, average comedies, Allen returned to more ambitious territory with the split-story Melinda and Melinda, the dark London-set drama Match Point, romantic drama Vicky Cristina Barcelona, one of many of his films which won acting Oscars, and the unexpected late-on hits Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine. In any case, he remains an intelligent, always entertaining film-maker with an amazing back catalogue.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: