Annie Hall

As in most great movie romances, the lovers in Annie Hall do not end up together. Jane Austen may assure us that well-suited, rational lovers can live with as much chance of happiness together as it is possible to have, but we tend to believe that the essence of great romance is in its loss. In the triumph of a dismal world, of the mundane over the erotic, the practical over the romantic. Annie Hall gives us two wonderfully distinct lovers, perfectly matched in all the ways we’d never have thought such distinct individuals could ever be. It gives us the singular perfection of the little moments that shape and grow their love. It gives us the all too recognizable irritations, distractions and worldly temptations that defeat our better selves. It gives us the desperate struggle to re-coup what has been lost. And it delivers, in the end, a final comment on what we (or at least what an artist) might hope to get from all that pleasure and all that pain. There is nothing more we can ask of a great romance than to fall a little bit in love. And it is a testament to the generous artistry of Allen that he makes sure that the one person we fall in love with is not Alvy Singer but Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall. (Max)

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