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July 22, 2013 | by  | in Arts Film | [ssba]

How to Become a Woody Allen Fan

Step One: See his face on T-shirts, hear him referenced as the typical New-York Jewish liberal intellectual, feel drawn to how ‘relatable’ his films seem. Watch Annie Hall once and feel as though you didn’t really ‘get’ it. You laugh at all the right moments yet feel disconnected. Resolve to watch it again; maybe the second time you’ll feel more of a connection.

Step Two: Remember having watched Vicky Christina Barcelona years ago and ‘appreciating’ the humour. Watch Annie Hall again and laugh hysterically. Watch it again and feel you now understand more about life and love and all its meaning than you ever did before. Watch Manhattan and decide you like it equally to Annie Hall although the experience isn’t so ‘fun’.

Step Three: Watch Hannah and Her Sisters and appreciate how his neuroses make him ‘relatable’, yet everything always works out better because it’s a movie. Watch Interiors and realise maybe it all doesn’t.

Step Four: Discover he left his partner/the mother of his children, Mia Farrow, for her 20-year-old adopted daughter from a previous marriage. Have a moment of moral crisis, remembering the time your mother and her friends discussed how ‘unforgivable’ it was. Remind yourself it was over 20 years ago and “the heart wants what it wants” (to paraphrase him). Watch Manhattan Murder Mystery and realise the whole sleeping-with-his-stepdaughter thing doesn’t bother you so much anyway.

Step Five: Purchase a second-hand copy of Without Feathers from the Salvation Army. Never get past the third page. Spend an evening searching ‘woody allen interview’ on YouTube. Feel not-so-alone and refreshingly positive about your existence. Realise you have now watched all his films rated ‘fresh’ on Rotten Tomatoes. Feel a sense of accomplishment.

Step Six: Romanticise your own neuroses, judge pseudo-intellectuals, mull over the nature of your existence, become a humorous cynic. At least you have self-awareness. Realise you are not, and never will be, Woody Allen. Watch Whatever Works and realise this is probably a good thing (how could the godly pairing of Larry David and Woody Allen have failed so miserably?!)


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