Annie Hall

June 12, 2014


The apex of Woody Allen’s genius, Annie Hall swiftly, gently, harmoniously dusts over an existential question, like a pastry chef brushing filo dough with butter: why bother with human relationships?


While intersecting with the main thesis in the recent Her by Spike Jonze, the similarities end there. Annie Hall exposes the erraticism of intimacy, and how rare it is for that turbulence to actually be enjoyable. Even more rarefied is having the pleasure be received by the two entangled! This of course assumes that each subject offers their irregular configuration within the rubric of a complicatedly diverse society such as New York City honestly. That is to say, we do not have actors but real mccoys, throwing themselves out there, at the risk of being rejected and undervalued. It is when our uniquely shaped puzzle piece finds itself a match that human existence – something Mr. Allen has consistently found tongue-in-cheek miserable – worthwhile. Dare I say, even transcendent?


Is this not the feeling of love? Is this not what every soul birthed craves to find? Am I to be interpreted to say humans seek to elevate their worldliness? Yes, but it is much more than simply seeking an Epicurean good life. It is a manner of finding completeness to one’s being. Plato’s Symposium delves into the origins of the soul mate myth much better than I can summarize. Nevertheless, this longing, this yearning, exists which some may not even know until they discover a window into the divine through being enriched by a complement.


Yet how many frogs must one kiss to find that complementary irregularly shaped soul? How many actors are out there, petrified of being genuine and authentic to another soul out of fear of the dual realization that such a Noah in the Ark pairing is not written in the stars? Is dying alone really that terrifying? Or is it more to suggest a healing salve to the anxiety of death, as Mr. Allen could appreciate with being with Annie?

Mr. Allen’s nausea when arriving and visiting Los Angeles is a splendid motif exemplifying this conundrum of being unique yet finding it difficult to become augmented through living with, and being completed, by another human. It is better to be genuine, Mr. Allen argues, and stew in existential anxiety, than to be a fraud and get it on with twin sixteen year olds, regardless of the possibilities.


Grade: A+



Subscribe to our mailing list

Latest Reviews