Annie Hall – Movie Review

Annie Hall

I don’t think she ever wears this outfit in the film.

I finally got around to seeing Annie Hall (1977) and I was not disappointed.

The film follows Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) through several romantic relationships, from what seems to be his mid-twenties to his forties, focusing on his relationship with the titular character, Annie Hall (Diane Keaton).

It reminded me a bit of Seinfeld; not just because the male leads are Jewish comedians in NYC, but because much of the humor draws on the protagonist’s mild dislike of other people and certain occurrences in everyday life. The dialogue and rants in Annie Hall are entertaining to watch, nicely bolstered by the neurotic mannerisms of the lead characters.

Having seen numerous references to this movie growing up, I was unable to detach myself from said references while watching the film. My mind kept going back to How I Met Your Mother (there’s an episode in which Ted determines how cool his dates are based on whether they like Annie Hall; the HIMYM writers, inadvertently or not, also draw a parallel between Ted and Alvy who both spend years upon years figuring out and finding love) and That 70’s Show (which sort of “parodies” a particular scene). Continue reading

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Major Influences #5: Shows with Characters Ages 25+

Major Influences Friends HIMYM The Office Mad Men Breaking Bad Sons of Anarchy Lost

As no one has probably noticed, most of the shows in my prior “Major Influences” posts are family and teen shows. This post will be on shows that aren’t quite as family friendly, which focus on characters over the age of twenty-five and allows for much heavier drama.

For the most part, comedies influence me in a fairly obvious way: it alters the kind of jokes I make with my friends and family, and in my writing. The effects of dramas, on the other hand, aren’t so easy to notice (aside from trying not to use plots I’ve seen elsewherejust as I try to avoid stealing comedy bits).

The best effect of any narrative, however, is the immersion into so many other lives and perspectives. You get to experience things which you might never get to experience yourself. Of course, I’m a proponent of travel and experiencing things firsthand (within reason), but you only have so much energy and fundsbooks, film, and television can get you places at a fraction of the time and cost and exposes you to scenarios you’d probably rather avoid in real life.

Anyway, on to the shows about characters considerably beyond their teenage years. Continue reading

Temporary Placeholder Names: Not a Good Idea

Cristin Milioti HIMYM Sebastian Shaw Return of the Jedi

Cristin Milioti from How I Met Your Mother and Sebastian Shaw from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Writing the first draft of my manuscript, I used about half a dozen placeholder names: boring character names and and way-too-descriptive place names.

I’m starting draft seven soon and, well, all these “temporary” names are still there. As you might’ve guessed, I’ve grown kind of attached to these names after having used them for so long. Still, I’m pretty sure I have to change them. Either that, or I can help a hundred agents stay on top of their eye-rolling exercises.

So, yup, temporary placeholders: (usually) not a good idea.

[UPDATED] Ted Mosby Reacts to LeBron’s Return to Cleveland

LeBron James

King James back in 2007. Photograph by Dave Hogg, distributed under CC BY 2.0.

UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch got a video from Josh Radnor showing Ted Mosby’s reaction: here! He cries for a bit as I suggested; not for 5-seconds, but still.

[Originally titled, “Would’ve been fun to see Ted Mosby react to LeBron’s return to Cleveland “]

On How I Met Your Mother, there was a running gag where Ohio native Ted Mosby is continuously bitter about LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat (and supposedly up his chances of getting a ring by playing with other superstars).

With King James going back to Cleveland, I just find it a shame that HIMYM didn’t run a little bit longer so we could see Ted’s response.  A 5-second joke involving Theodore Evelyn Mosby crying might’ve worked.

Josh Radnor

Josh Radnor. Photograph by Jonathan Mauer, distributed under CC BY-SA 3.0.