Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson
Randy: I dreamt about you last night.
Melodie: Don’t use that line, because Boris said that he dreamt about me last night, and I really doubt it’s mathematically possible for me to be in two dreams at one time.
Boris Yellnikof (David) is a bitter, angry genius who sees other people as simpletons. He suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, and he generally keeps to himself ever since his wife left him. Boris meets a young homeless girl, Melodie (Wood), and gives her a place to stay. She develops a crush on him and he develops a tolerance of her, and more, as he realizes how easily she takes on his own beliefs.
Since watching this movie, I’ve been trying to get a firm grasp on just where it’s coming from. What message is it trying to get across? First of all, I have to admit something though. I’ve never seen an entire Woody Allen movie. Any time I’ve seen part of one, he annoys me so much that I can’t keep watching. Thankfully, he’s not in this movie, and Larry David takes over the role I assume Woody would normally play.
I do know that some things about the movie bugged me, though I’m wondering if the movie was going for irony at times. But, I can’t really assume that, so I’ll go from the angle that the movie really was making fun of backwards, repressed, idiot southerners. I thought that whole aspect of it was sort of insulting. Not that I really take things like that very personally, but it’s just so stereotypical and over done. The dumb southerners come up to New York and are enlightened by the sophisticated northerners. They realize their religious beliefs are all bogus, that they should start experimenting with sex and drugs, their artistic sides are suddenly free to blossom, etc. I’d like to think that the movie is making fun of these stereotypes, but I didn’t get that impression.
I have to say, it’s pretty funny at times, and Evan Rachel Wood is very enjoyable as Melodie. In fact, she’s probably the bright spot of the movie. Patricia Clarkson is good, as always, but her character bugged me and was part of the whole insulting dumb southerner part of it. For some reason I can tolerate Larry David. I liked him well enough on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but his character is more annoying in this movie. Yet, he’s still tolerable.
Overall, the laughs just didn’t quite balance out the annoying aspects of the movie, in my opinion. In the end, a movie that seems to want to say that anything you do is okay with it ends up looking surprisingly intolerable towards beliefs and lifestyles it doesn’t agree with. To me, a more appropriate title would have been “Whatever Works (As Long as I Don’t Think It’s Stupid)”.
People from the south are idiots.
10 – 2.5 for the whole dumb, repressed southerners angle – 1.1 for some annoying characters – .5 for all the times Larry David talks to the camera…I hate that = 5.9