I went to go see Anything Else with Rafael, not knowing anything at all about it. I hadn’t seen a trailer. The poster didn’t tell me anything. It wasn’t until 24 hours ago that I even found out it was the new Woody Allen flick. So, I went in with basically no expectations – and left rather pleased.
The film basically focuses on Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs), a struggling comedy writer who is trying to figure out his dysfunctional relationship with, well, everyone. His girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci) is acting strangely, his manager (Danny DeVito) is inept, his psychiatrist won’t respond to him, and his new friend David Dobel (Woody Allen) is convinced there’s a giant conspiracy for everything. Of course, Dobel is the one who tries to get Jerry to shape up his life, not worry what everyone else thinks, and do what’s best for himself.
It’s a well staged and paced film that takes its time, has plenty of amusing and humorous moments, and has a nice point to it as well. Many of the scenes are locked-off shots, and single-takes can last minutes. It’s very “theatrical” in that sense – it’s more like a play than a movie at times. The cinematography by Darius Khondji is subtle but excellent. This is an extremely well shot film. In the end, though, it’s not something to run out and see. I mean, it’s a pleasant film, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it in the end, but Woody Allen just doesn’t have the box-office draw he used to, and his humor might not appeal to everyone. If you’re having doubts, check it out on video.