By Pamela Nagel
A new genre is rising, Woody Allen for the boom’s echo. When you think Woody Allen, you think of a movie that baby boomers watch about people their age, being neurotic and doing what boomers do. Now, Allen has brought that to today’s generation with Anything Else, it’s our time to enjoy the Woody Allen film. Jason Biggs had graduated from American Pie to the coveted honour of being in a Woody Allen movie. It’s a symbol that Hollywood actually considers our generation adults.
Biggs plays Jerry Fock, a comedy writer with separation anxiety. Jerry is at a crossroads in his life, facing many roadblocks. An obviously talented writer, he is held back by his loser agent Harvey (Danny Devito) whom he feels too guilty to fire. He has missed many opportunities to write and has failed to leave New York, in part, because he doesn’t want to stop his psychoanalysis. His shrink doesn’t talk and doesn’t help him but, once again, Jerry feels guilty leaving him.
Enter Jerry’s girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci). Jerry is swept away with love for his perpetually late, irrational, chain-smoking girlfriend who hasn’t satisfied him in six months. Jerry is stuck in a rut and can’t seem to do anything positive for himself.
Enter Allen as aging comedy writer David Dobell, who strikes up a friendship with Jerry. Allen sticks to his usual schtick, playing a self-depreciating, neurotic man. In this movie he kicks it up a notch and is not only neurotic but also slightly psychotic, A smart idea to try and capture our audience.
Throughout the movie, Dobell bestows his wisdom on the impressionable Jerry and eventually helps him get his life moving.
Biggs sticks to his usual character as the nice guy with a pile of neuroses, a role he plays well. I usually don’t take any notice of Ricci’s work, but I found her performance as the slightly crazy girlfriend convincing.
The supporting characters in this movie add a nice punch to the movie. Stockard Channing plays Paula—Amanda’s self-centered mother who acts like she’s 25 and snorts cocaine with 26-year-old horse whisperers. Devito plays a pathetic agent who still lives with his mother and only has one client. All the characters in this movie play off each other well and make this movie worth watching.
Anything Else is certainly not American Pie, as the movie is based on more intelligent humour. Although the movie is funny, there are points where it drags, and takes too long getting going. Overall the movie kept me entertained.
This movie is aimed at people in their early twenties and up, people who enjoyed the American Pie trilogy but are starting to expand their humor horizons. Who better to take us there, than the pie boy himself.