My favourite film of his is 'Manhattan Murder Mystery', because it's just so darn funny. The jokes fall out of his mouth like a breeze and you don't even realise he's making a joke until you notice that you are in absolute hysterics.
But Woody tends to hide from the fact he's one of the funniest people alive. He goes for complexity. That's fine, he's good at it, but things are really GOLD when he just goes for FUNNY.
'Fading Gigolo' is not a great movie. But every time Woody is on screen, things just lighten up. His facial expressions, his delivery, no-one can do what he does. No one at all. Incredible.
It just so happened that the screening I attended was full of people in their 60's and 70's. These were clearly Woody Allen fans. Like me, they know his humour, they know his work. And I think that's the key to appreciating Woody Allen, it helps to know the work he's done in the past. It gives you an affection for his on screen persona. Things are funny because you feel like you know his characters and what they're going through.
In the early 2000's Woody decided he wasn't going to act as much any more. You can understand why; he's getting old and writing and directing is enough of a challenge. So it's down to people like John Turturro to get Woody on the screen in the way we like to see him.
'FADING GIGOLO' is a sweet and unusual film. It risks running out of steam on numerous occasions, but just about holds on to you due to its kind heart and great acting performances. If you're a Woody Allen fan, you just HAVE to see it. It's Woody doing the funny in a way we've not seen in years! Here's the trailer:
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