Saturday, February 10, 2007

I don't know if absolutely everyone says it...

So, I just got done watching Everyone Says I Love You, Woody Allen's 1996 musical, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was quite good. The friend that I mentioned the other day who is a Woody Allen fanatic said that I should definitely take his recommendation with a grain of salt, since he usually hates musicals, and somehow he just happened to like this one that Allen directed. But, luckily, I also really like Woody Allen, and I thought it was great.

It's got quite the star-studded cast, with Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda, Edward Norton (early in his career), Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, a young Natalie Portman, Natasha Lyonne, Tim Roth (as a romantic ex-con), Billy Crudup (in a very small role; I had trouble figuring out who he was after I saw his name in the credits), and Woody himself, of course. There's lots of the normal Woody Allen humor, with psychiatry and infidelity factoring heavily into the plot. And the music is great; it's a movie musical filled with his style of jazz and old-timey hits. And some great dance numbers. That's the kind of musical I like, where it's like people are so overcome with emotion that they break out into song and dance, somehow putting a spell on everyone around them and causing them to join in. My favorites were a dance number that begins with Edward Norton singing "My Baby Just Cares for Me" while buying an engagement ring for Drew Barrymore; a crew of patients, doctors and nurses singing "Makin' Whoopee" and dancing throughout the halls of a hospital; a French version of "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" performed by a bunch of dancers at at Marx Brothers-themed party; and a beautiful dance by Woody Allen and Goldie Hawn to "I'm Thru With Love". Plus, it's one of the few Allen movies I can remember containing notable special effects; there's a dance by a bunch of translucent ghosts at a funeral to "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)", and the aforementioned Allen/Hawn dance contains what must be some Hong Kong-esque wirework that has Hawn literally rising off the ground with emotion. Really good stuff. As a Woody Allen fan, I definitely recommend this one.