In any relationship, one person always does the heavy lifting.
In any relationship, one person always does the heavy lifting
Running Time: 108 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States
Anything Else might be a difficult DVD to rent (ask the bloke behind the counter if hes got Anything Else, and hell doubtless reply only what you see, mate it could conceivably go on all day), but its worth it. From Woody Allen a writer-director so regular in his one-movie-a-year mantra that you can practically set your Casio by his releases its another mirthsome trip into New York neuroses, laced with easily enough good humour and textbook awkwardness to be well worth a recommendation.
Not unusually for a Woody flick, its concern is with the lifespan of a romantic liaison, in this case between socially-cumbersome comedy writer Jerry (Jason Biggs) and the inadvertently-manipulative Amanda (Christina Ricci). Upon meeting for the first time, the pair fall in love almost instantly but its not long before shes putting the brakes on the rumpy-pumpy, hes losing patience with all around him (including psychiatrist William Hill and manager Danny De Vito), and the relationship looks to be crumbling faster than a packet of Hob-Nobs thrown against a wall by a body-builder.
As a nice touch, Biggs talks intermittently to the camera, and Woody himself pops up as a would-be mentor (as in, he would be a mentor if the advice he was dishing out wasnt so appalling) to the troubled twenty-something. Ricci, meanwhile, delivers a cracking performance, and her striking good looks are infinitely more captivating than anything the stage hypnotist could ever have conjured up in Allens 2001 project The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
Sure, old Wooders dips a little shamelessly into his own back catalogue (most notably Annie Hall) to come up with some of the ideas in this one – but it features a much younger leading cast than he normally works with, and they inject a freshness into the material which deserves to open up his work to a whole new audience who may otherwise have ignored a Woody Allen movie. The humour in this one may be a little uncomfortable to watch at times, but that doesnt prevent Anything Else from being entertaining, intelligent and funny.
It's Got: A car-parking feud lifted straight out of an old Seinfeld episode, and a sale on surplus Russian army rifles.
It Needs: A full survival kit, complete with floating flashlight.
Alternatives:Annie Hall, Manhattan
Woody Allen proves he can do it for the kids with this fun, thoughtful and triumphant answer to Annie Hall for the Naughties.