Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Problem with Woody Allen

Just discovered this one, and couldn't resist posting it. Enjoy:

The Problem with Woody Allen

(even before Soon Yi)
is that he breaks up with people
like Mariel Hemingway (in Manhattan)
and Diane Keaton (in Annie Hall)
without so much a joke about his scrawny body,
those parody glasses, his sallow skin.
My friend Rhonda said (about Deconstructing Harry)
"Elisabeth Shue should get an Oscar
for making out with Woody Allen
and not throwing up!" At least
Elisabeth gets to dump him, but still -
why does Woody Allen's character cheat
on Judy Davis? I see what he was trying to do
in Celebrity, projecting his male fantasies
through Kenneth Branagh, who's a little easier
to look at. But would Melanie Griffith really give
Kenneth Branagh / Woody Allen a blow job?
I understand if she wants to get a part in the movie
Celebrity, but she's already in it, playing a famous actress,
and Kenneth Branagh is supposed to be
a lowly journalist, so, frankly, it doesn't make sense.
Even Winona Ryder, playing a struggling actress,
falling for Branagh is a stretch.
Wasn't she just going out with Matt Damon
in real life?

So when I stumble upon
Allen's latest film treatment - he's starring in his films again
he just can't help it - I feel compelled to write to him
about my concerns:

Dear Mr. Allen, I'm afraid
this time you're really going to embarrass yourself.
A nursing home patient (you) getting sexual gratification
from a student nurse (Gwyneth Paltrow)? I admit
the premise sounds fun, even madcap - Gwyneth
loves you so much that when you beg her
she sneaks you out of Palm Springs's Golden Gables
and takes you cross-country, popping open your cans
of Ensure and playing her "young people" music
while you kvetch and cover your ears.
The fish-out-of-water element is intriguing -
you hyperventilating as Gwyneth forces you to peer
over the Grand Canyon. You reading the ingredients
of Gwyneth's Pepsi One can with a magnifying glass.
But would you really leave Gwyneth
when you meet up with neurotic Drew Barrymore,
a displaced New Yorker teaching philosophy
in North Dakota? Would Drew really be visiting
the Lawrence Welk Museum when you walk in
(because Gwyneth drops you off there
so she can go mall shopping in peace)?
Would Drew really let you move in
immediately, after that first kiss
behind Welk's favorite accordion? Would you really
leave your oxygen tank behind in Gwyneth's trunk?
Would Gwyneth in a rage really flush all your prescriptions?
Would Drew risk everything for you, even her tenure?
Would you (as a runaway nursing home patient) really
be able to balance on the back of Drew's Harley
all the way from Grand Forks to the Upper East Side?

- Denise Duhamel


Space Bar said...

Lovely! And I would have also asked, Would Drew as an academic with tenure, really be riding a Harley?

blackmamba said...

finally! someone said it. awesome.

didn't I tell you good poets are those who can ask the questions that float around in in everybody's mind, but got asked?

Falstaff said...

space bar: It could happen. a) Academia is full of wild, eccentric people. The most senior faculty member in my department regularly comes to work on a bicycle wearing a bow-tie. b) She's not just an ordinary academic - she's a person teaching philosophy in North Dakota. She has to be at least a little crazy. c) This is Drew Barrymore we're talking about. She can ride anything she wants - animal, vegetable or mineral.

bm: True. And talking about poets tapping into the mind of the people, remind me at some point to post the Duhamel poem about how one-fourth of all Americans think Noah (of Noah's Ark) was married to Joan of Arc.

Also, to be fair, having seen Scoop, I'm not sure which is worse - Woody Allen as lover or Woody Allen as Father Figure. (somewhere George Michael just felt a stabbing pain in his chest).

witnwisdumb said...

And this is poetry? Heh. Makes me remember this. Not because of any emo element, but just the similarity in random line-breaks and capitalization.

Space Bar said...

ya, hadn't thought of that. Also, Drew Barrymore very likely insisted on being allowed to ride a bike as recompense for having to do clinches with Woody Allen.

Cheshire Cat said...

I loved "Scoop" - Woody was endearingly creepy in it.

Ravi said...

Yeah. And how can a super-neurotic hypochondriac past-his-prime film director get someone as super-cute as Tea Leoni. That kind of "ending" can happen only in "Hollywood" :)

ggop said...

This is great! The guy lives his fantasies in all his movies.

Anonymous said...

SB: One of the great draws of academia and tenure is that One Can Ride a Harley. Pre-tenure, possibly. Post-tenure, certainly. There are not too many other professions where this might be be true (of?). maybe CEO of HD. But then s/he could get sacked anytime on the whim of some 21 yr finance kid who was just feeling crappy that morning. And s/he might even have to give up the bike.

Falsie, you call riding a bike weraing a bow-tie wild, eccentric behavior? For shame! I thought your bohemian spirit was way better developed than getting a kick out of a bicycle rider in a bowtie? Unless of course its ONLY the bowtie s/he wears while riding the bike. Now that is interesting. I'm conjuring up images of naked people in your department wearing only bowties and discussing research while riding their bicycles. Yummy.


Anonymous said...

Jacobus's summer boarding-house on top of Orange Mountain.. I arose with a shining pate, wigless; she in disdain and wrath, half-buried in alien hair.. Th' rooms is th' three right along th' hull front o' th' house.. Because I could lick him, easy, said the hopeful Joshua, who knew very well why the master did not undertake him on the spot.. In dreams of men one often finds the cravat as a symbol for the penis; this indeed is not only because cravats hang down long, and are characteristic of the man, but also because one can select them at pleasure, a freedom which is prohibited by nature in the original of the symbol.. But I see I loiter on my story, which is rushing to the plunge.. It never occurred to him that Dennis might be more than fourteen years old.. He actually set about reading for improvement; and although at the end of the term he could not quite make out from his historical studies which side Hannibal was on, yet this is readily explained by the fact that he boarded round, and was obliged to read generally by firelight, surrounded by ungoverned children.. It happened just about then that the arrears of rent for the village hotel had so accumulated on Mr.. Auchmuty had promised to speak late, and was at the school committee.. His parents came home late and went to bed while he was feigning sleep.. The blonde matron turned to her husband.. Certainly I have heard of few men more beloved, and of none more worthy to be loved.. The taxi always reminds me of the table d'hote.. Self-deception is a plant which withers fast in the pellucid atmosphere of dream investigation.. There was no need of disputing the fact that the dream interprets the objective sensory stimuli after the manner of an illusion; but we have supplied the motive for this interpretation which has been left undecided by the authorities.. Once more he lifted up his mighty voice: Drunk, drunk, drunk, drer-unc, drer-unc, -erunc, -unc, -unc.. Oh, ma! for the Lord's sake!--Sim, Sim, Sim, if you care any thing for me in this wide world, don't let ma go into that room! Missis Fluker, said Sim, rising instantly, wait jest two minutes till I see Mr.. She then reminds me of the promise I made her to treat her for nothing if necessary, and I say to her: I can show no consideration in money matters.. Methought he stood at the foot of the couch, drew aside the curtains, and in the hollow, detestable tones of a rum puncheon, menaced me with the bitterest vengeance for the contempt with which I had treated him...

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Did somebody say Dev Anand?