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Whatever Works

  • 2009-10-01
  • By Michael Litvinsky

BORIS ELLNIKOFF: Whatever works for you, do it.

Director: Woody Allen

Written and directed by cult movie maker Woody Allen, "Whatever Works," made with his classic stylistics, still introduces some general innovations which have not been seen in his films before.

 The film tells us a story of an eccentric and misanthropic New York resident, Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David), who abandons his upper class life to lead a more bohemian existence. Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, he rants to anyone who will listen, including the audience. The fun begins when, begrudgingly, he allows a naive Mississippi runaway Melodie St. Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood), who Boris finds lying on his doorstep, to live in his apartment. Suddenly, Boris' rage gives way to an unlikely friendship, and even love.

Eventually Boris marries young Melodie, despite the 40 year age difference, and begins to mold the impressionable young girl's worldly views to match his own. The story gets hysterically funny, when after a year, Melodie's parents finally track her down. Being not very fond, to say the least, of their precious daughter living with a seventy-year-old man, Melodie's mother tries the best she can to find a more suitable companion for her daughter (while not forgetting about her own love life).

In the meantime, Boris, not noticing the changes that happened in his life with the arrival of Melodies parents, continues to snivel about politics, religion and, most of all, "the moronic inhabitants of our planet," and to discuss love, life, death and many other "cosmic" issues in a peculiar and hilarious way. Regarding every situation, he is loyal to his motto - Whatever works.

Such as there were, the life of the main characters and the life around them starts to change 's some relationships break, some are created, different connections are made, but the strange and charming wilderness, mostly created by Boris, is carried through the whole movie.
By the way, it is quite noticeable that Boris is actually a character who could have easily been played be Woody Allen himself, and judging by his previous roles and pictures, it can be concluded that it was actually written specially for that purpose. Nevertheless, David (who is much more famous as a writer) has gotten through with solidly.

Despite some very melancholic moods in some particular scenes, the film in general gives you a whole lot of cheerful and joyous emotions, so it is certain that you will leave the theater with happy thoughts and intentions, to act charitably and help others. Allen tells us the main idea of the film in the very beginning, with the opening credits, right in the name of the movie - Life is too short for wasting it, and eventually every life will end, so whatever works for you, try to make yourself the happiest you can possibly be.

So, regardless of your own opinion on the issue, you should see the movie just for gaining some positive and warm emotions. It is smart, funny, cute, warm, original, inspiring and much, much more. As is usual for Woody Allen films, it includes more dialogues while sitting around than any sort of action, but it still will not bore any viewer, of any kind, no matter what age, race or sex he or she is.

Now showing in Latvia.
 
 

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