Woody Allen writes and directs this "blackish comedy" about an eccentric upper-class New Yorker (Larry David) who abandons his comfortable lifestyle in favor of leading a more bohemian existence. After meeting a young Southern girl (Evan Rachel Wood) and her family, he discovers that life among the nonconformists isn't quite as carefree as he'd envisioned it to be.
Whatever Works 3.9 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Typically Allen, this commedy is funny and among the best of his repertoire. True, requires the taste for black comedy, but if you have enjoyed Allen's previous work you'll certainly like this :-)
More than 1 year ago
Woody Allen is the mastermind director behind great films like Bullets Over Broadway, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and of course Annie Hall. He has made a name for himself writing quirky romantic comedies that go deeper than a romantic comedy deserves to delve, and creating neurotic characters (typically Jewish) that would probably be better off on a psychiatrist's couch than parading around for our entertainment. Larry David is one of the writers, producers, and creators of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and he stars in the latter. In Curb Your Enthusiasm Larry David plays himself as a neurotic yuppie who talks himself into painfully funny situation. When it comes to the pairing of Woody Allen and Larry David in Whatever Works the question you need to ask yourself isn't, "Is it any good," but rather, "Why didn't this happen sooner?!"
Woody Allen, coming off of Vicky Christina Barcelona, finally creates a comedy more worthy of his older, and generally much funnier material. With Whatever Works he creates situations that are more realistic, with characters that are more real than he's created in a comedy in a while. His dialogue is just as sharp as it ever was, but at the same time, more so than in a lot of his past comedies, not everyone feels like they're talking "Woody," so to speak.
The acting is phenomenal, as should be expected of an Allen movie. The difference in here and in any other movie he's directed that he hasn't starred in is that in Larry David he doesn't get an actor that is trying to be a clone of him as he does with Jason Biggs in Anything Else or Will Ferrell in Melinda and Melinda. Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe) also stands out as the polar opposite to David's neurotic curmudgeon Boris. And they play very well together, the actor and actress appear to actually have real chemistry in front of the camera which makes you believe that this young girl really wants to be with an old crotchety man like Boris.
Naturally, though, there are things that detract from the movie. Some of the relationships don't completely seem to ring true (a relationship between Marietta and her two lovers later on in the movie may strike many viewers as odd), or some people just won't like where certain things fit (how many people complained about the pairing in King of Queens? they won't like Larry David with Evan Rachel Wood). There's also a late homosexual revelation that happens a little too quickly. On top of that a lot of viewers might disagree and find offense with the dialogue that sometimes spits out of Boris' mouth throughout the film.
But isn't that one of the great things about entertainment? To make you question, and sometimes, fight for your beliefs? If you happen to like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, or any Woody Allen comedy I highly recommend this. For everyone else: whatever works!