Sunday, January 1, 2012

Deconstructing Harry

I enjoyed Deconstructing Harry, a 1997 Woody Allen movie.

I have a number of problems with his films. Although in some ways I identify with his self-absorption and neurosis, I find his presence in his films to be alienating. The way he creates emotional chaos in those around him while remaining unchanged himself. He is good at illustrating the wedge he creates in relationships, but completely incapable of depicting anything bonding between his character and others, and so I never understand why any of them are drawn to him.

In spite of this, Deconstructing Harry is smart and interesting. Great scenes, great bits of dialogue, great performances here and there. It is about a writer struggling with problems in his personal and creative life, and the fictional depictions of these are interwoven with the actual plot, so it's stories within stories. One of the writer's stories is about an actor who is out of focus, and I found this to be a particularly interesting idea. One of my favorite scenes was the meltdown fight he has with his ex-wife, played by Kirstie Alley, who is excellent -- fucking excellent -- at portraying emotional hysteria.

1 comment:

Diana said...

The thing with his movies is they sometimes make me laugh, and sometimes make me think, but never make me feel.