I did not care very much for Annie Hall the first few times I saw it – especially Woody Allen’s annoying Alvy Singer always made me want to throw something at my TV. I think that, just like it was the case with The Apartment, I needed more time to fully appreciate this little romantic comedy.
It’s such a joyous, crazy and neurotic look at love and happiness, filled with what seems to be a ‘sitcom-style’ but is somehow so much more. Woody Allen’s direction sometimes seems to me like the direction of an overeager student who tries to put as many new and original things into his films as possible, but it helps that he both wrote and starred in the movie and so perfectly knew what would work and what wouldn’t. Annie Hall is all we would expect from Woody Allen and even more.
In the title role, Diane Keaton is easily the most praiseworthy aspect of a movie full of them. Her Annie is one of the most original creations in movie history – she’s charming, funny, a little dizzy and crazy but also very realistic and constantly growing as a human being. Certainly the best performance in a Woody-Allen-movie ever.
Annie Hall is not a hymn to love but instead presents it as something difficult, something that needs work and can’t be explained. It’s not romantic but rather a combination of intelligent observations and funny situation-comedy.
Overall, a movie that grows – it doesn’t really show all its magic and wisdom at a first sight but rather develops itself with time. A true winner!