1973 Running time: 86 Certificate: 15 Rating: 4

Synopsis

Woody Allen makes his neurotic mark as a film critic who, after being ditched by his wife, seeks solace from his married friends (Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts)... and his idol, Humphrey Bogart (the spot-on Jerry Lacy). Adapting from his own stage play, Allen packs the Walter Mitty-ish situation with cringeworthy dates, notions of adultery and typically riotous one-liners, while director Herbert Ross stages a series of pitch-perfect homages to Casablanca. Like a good laugh? Love old movies? Look no further.

Director

  • Herbert Ross

Cast

  • Woody Allen

  • Diane Keaton

  • Tony Roberts

  • Jerry Lacy

Review

This Woody Allen comedy, adapted from his stage hit but directed for once not by Woody but by Herbert Ross, is a very funny, very endearing film on Allen's recurring theme, lifelong failure.

His wife has walked out and his two best friends Dick and Linda try to encourage him to score with somebody else. But Allan, nervous and weedy, is mostly at home watching old Bogart movies, and the only advice he heeds is from a fantasised Bogey, played to the hilt by Jerry Lacy.

'Don't you cook anything but those frozen TV dinners? ' asks Dick. 'Who cooks 'em? ' replies a despondent Allen, 'I suck 'em.'

Falling for Linda only leads to another attack of nerves - about telling Dick. 'If you want me,' he tells Linda, as they go to do the deed, `I'll be home on the floor, having an anxiety attack.'

Telling the plot isn't likely to spoil your enjoyment of a film whose incidental touches - and they are numerous - mark it out as one of the most unusual as well as one of the funniest of its year. If you haven't seen it before, try not to miss it this time.

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