Whatever Works – 8

It’s funny how a movie that starts with such an extraordinarily mundane, realistic view of New York City, not to mention such a depressing view of the human condition, ends up in a total fantasy – everybody happy, everybody fulfilled, and everybody together on that most depressing night of all, New Year’s Eve. But that’s not nearly as funny as the exchanges between Larry David, playing the jaded Woody Allen character, and Evan Rachel Wood, playing the dumb blonde cheerleader from Louisiana. I can’t remember a first half-hour of a movie that I’ve enjoyed so much, or jokes that had me laughing out loud a day later. In the process of having things work out to the perfect ending we spectate Woody’s wet dream that redneck, gun-toting, Bible-waving Southerners are not just dumb but are actually repressed swingers and homosexuals, which gives the movie a feel-good final act but wipes out any possible heft it might otherwise possess. Which makes it sort of like the early Woody Allen films, which is not at all bad.

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