Woody Allen Returns to His Roots in Whatever Works
Posted 05.26.09 by reelz
Whatever Works is in many ways a throwback to earlier eras, according to an in-depth feature on the movie in New York magazine. Not too surprising given that Woody Allen first penned the script, and then shelved it, way back in the 1970s. It is of the same era as his New York classics Manhattan and Annie Hall and might well be considered, this article suggests, the missing movie from that period.
Both the return to filming in New York and the resurrection of the script just now were a bit of an accident, Allen tells the magazine. The threat of a summer-long actors strike (which never materialized) pushed him to start working on a new movie three months earlier than anticipated. So he started with where he was and what was ready to hand.
Allen isn't so sure that the film is bringing back some kind of lost Jewish humor, though:
You know, it's funny. I have a blind spot there. Because I wouldn't see what I do as Jewish humor. I would see it as funny if you think it's funny, or not if you don't. But I never think of it as Jewish in any way. Now, as I say, this is a blind spot. Because you and other people might feel differently.
And some clearly do. The rest of the article is an interesting and informative exercise in trying to prove the director wrong about this particular aspect of his own work -- the writer can't be faulted for his lack of chutzpah, in any case.