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July 11, 2007

Anything Else

Anything_else After losing a wide spectrum of his once-loyal audience due to public scandal around his personal life, the quality of Woody Allen’s films has steadily declined since it peaked with "Deconstructing Harry" in 1998. "Anything Else" represents low ebb for the comic filmmaker famous for transmuting the work of Ingmar Bergman into New York centric comedies full of neurosis based humor. Jason Biggs plays Jerry Falk, an upstart comedy writer, anachronistically inspired by Allen’s stint as a joke writer for Sid Caesar’s old TV program, who serves as Woody’s alter ego and comic apprentice in the story. Allen plays David Dobel, an aging paranoid comic writer who mentors Falk in all matters of love, life and commitment. Stilted artificial dialogue, direct-to-camera narration and strained performances exacerbate the film’s idiosyncratic attitudes toward prejudice, ego, privacy and obsession. "Anything Else" could easily be called "a feel-bad movie for all occasions."

Rated R. 108 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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