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Teen Movie Critic

Manhattan

by

Roger Davidson

Manhattan
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A touching, sentimental tribute from Woody Allen to his home town. He plays a well-known comedy writer, who spends his time trying to juggle his various relationships with friends, lovers and his former wife. He's dating a teenage girl (Mariel Hemingway), while contemplating an affair with his best friend's pseudo-intellectual lover (Diane Keaton). Allen's best friend (Michael Murphy) is having problems with his wife (Anne Byrne), but isn't so unsure that perhaps Keaton and Allen should be together. Meanwhile, Allen must deal with the constant gripes of his ex-wife (Meryl Streep), who has taken their son and moved in with a lesbian (Karen Ludwig). He also doesn't like the book Streep is writing about their former life together.

One of Allen's sweetest and most poignant works, right after Annie Hall. Allen adds some touches of Charlie Chaplin comedies, with his character in a good-humored-soul-in-the-face-of-disaster situation. Allen and Keaton have perfect chemistry as always (they would not re-team for another 14 years), while Hemingway and Allen's scenes are beautifully well-crafted moments. Gordon Willis' great black-and-white camerawork and the George Gershwin score are two other nice additions to a flawless work. Allen shows that you don't need Chris Farley-slapstick antics or Jim Carrey's manic antic to be funny. The conversations in this are proof of that.

My Rating = Four Stars


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