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Manhattan

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Manhattan

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton
Director: Woody Allen
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: March 1979
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Classic


*Also starring: Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Anne Byrne, Meryl Streep



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1.  Andrew Hicks review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
2.  Brian Koller read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review

Review by Andrew Hicks
3½ stars out of 4

On the surface, this Woody Allen follow-up to the masterpiece ANNIE HALL seems like the same movie all over again. There he is, playing a neurotic New York Jew whose career involves entertaining the masses with his sense of humor and whose love life involves a continual string of mismatches and failures. After watching MANHATTAN, though, it's obvious this film explores the theme on a much more dramatic and profound level.

Aesthetically, MANHATTAN is worlds away from ANNIE HALL. Filmed in black and white and featuring a constant soundtrack of Gershwin music, it seems like an artsy 50's film, but then again no film of the 50's ever had a seventeen-year-old girl offering a middle-aged man a chance to have sex in a wild way no other woman would try with him. That brings up the third difference between MANHATTAN and ANNIE HALL -- we get to see the charming pedophile side of Woody in this film as he enters a relationship with high school senior Mariel Hemingway. The mental image of those two together is almost as disgusting as Mariel's lesbian kiss with Roseanne. Almost.

Mariel is in love with Woody, but he continually tells her she's too young for commitment. She needs to have more casual sex relationships with insensitive jocks before settling down with one man (the same advice Madonna's parents gave her at the age of seven). So he takes up with emotionally unstable Diane Keaton (a.k.a. Annie Hall), who is on the rebound from an extra-marital affair with a mutual friend (Michael Murphy) but is eventually lured back into the affair when Murphy promises for the millionth time to leave his wife. Looks like someone needs to rent WAITING TO EXHALE.

Like most Woody Allen films, MANHATTAN is a melange of relationships gone wrong, only here there are less rapid-fire one-liners and more actual drama. Emotional damage occurs right and left in MANHATTAN and, while it isn't as funny as ANNIE HALL , it's just as rewarding a viewing experience on a different level. And it does expose Woody's charming pedophile side so rarely seen outside of custody trials.

Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks

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