Whatever Works

Synopsis: Meet New Yorker Boris Yellnikoff (comedy great Larry David): a sarcastic, bitter and brilliant misanthrope who almost won the Nobel Prize. Boris, admittedly, is not a likeable guy. That is, until he meets Melody St. Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood), a charmingly naive runaway who finds shelter on his doorstep. As he lets her into his home and his heart, he discovers that in this cruel world sometimes it’s worthwhile to get a little happiness doing Whatever Works. Director-writer Woody Allen returns to his comedy roots in this poignant and wildly hilarious romp that Gene Shalit of The Today Show calls “Colossally funny!”

Whatever Works 8.0

Fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm should rejoice at the marvel that is this explosive blend of Larry David and Woody Allen. Whereas the writing of CYE is frequently contrived and hard to fully digest, Allen’s script is authentically acerbic and abundant with wit. Throw in Larry David, who essentially plays Woody Allen with teeth, and you’ve got quite an entertaining picture.

David’s delivery, which has been honed over many season of Curb, is pitch-perfect in this role – in which he pummels people with his views and verbally crushes anyone who annoys him without an ounce of consideration or any sense of regret.

This curmudgeony side of Woody Allen has frequently shown up in previous films, but Allen has always lacked the demeanour to pull it off quite as dramatically; in Larry David, Woody Allen’s frustrations with life have finally found the perfect vehicle.

I would recommend this film to anyone who easily gets annoyed with people or who has just had a really bad day – the incessant put-downs and mean-spiritedness will put a smile on those grumps’ faces immediately.

…well, it sure did the trick for me.

Nota bene: as a side note, I would have rated the film higher if not for a few of Woody Allen’s over-used themes recur and due to the fact that the last 15 mins rushed convolutedly to a conclusion we could have been eased into instead.

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