I’m supposed to love Woody Allen. His films are ground-breaking, witty, exploratory...and, he’s Jew that’s made his success from being Jewish. Perhaps, we should ignore the illegitimacy and taboo of his split from Mia Farrow and union with Farrow’s -not Allen’s- adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, just like we should ignore Roman Polanski’s questionable sexual behavior with a minor. Perhaps, I judge. I liked The Pianist, Mr. Polanski.
Nevertheless, I hate Woody Allen.
I regularly leave his films, saying, “That was pretty good...I think.” Usually, I find myself wanting more from his plot or something more dynamic. I want his characters to be less annoying -not much less, just a little less. I want his productions to meet my expectations...this never happens.
To that, many will say, “Oh, but you just don’t get it.” For the record, my wife considers me a closeted hipster. I like small-production quirky films -hell, I call them “films” rather than “movies.” I have an ironic taste for poorly-sung alternative music. I like Wes Anderson. No mustache, though...well, a full-beard. Does that count? So, if what they say about hipsters is true, I get a whole lot of what others don't.
But, I don't get Woody Allen.
I've tried multiple times, often laughing when others do, so as to participate with the in-crowd. I tried to get inside the minds of his morally-questionable protagonists. After seeing What’s New, Pussycat?, I tried to feel what it felt like for women to casually fall in love with me -very unsuccessfully. I tried to shift out of focus after seeing Deconstructing Harry. I tried to enjoy the Twenties when I saw Midnight in Paris. I couldn't get past Sean Penn's mustache in Sweet and Lowdown.
"But, what about Annie Hall or Crimes and Misdemeanors or Mighty Aphrodite?"
My answer is, "I don't know," and I feel left out. Am I not cultured enough? Not intellectual enough? Should I shave my beard into a mustache? I want to be part of this, Mr. Allen. Why must you be so exclusive? I am missing something. I need to defocus myself again. Or enhance my neurotic tendencies. Or have an affair. Or learn how to dance the Charleston.
Don’t worry, Mr. Allen, I’ll figure out all your references and innuendos. I’ve got Wikipedia.