Monday, July 06, 2009

Larry David is The Perfect Woody Allen

Woody Allen usually makes comedies, but has made a few drama films as well. Besides looking at a Woody Allen film as a Woody Allen comedy or a Woody Allen drama, I really look at Woody Allen movies under these two catagories:

1. Woody Allen movies starring Woody Allen

2. Woody Allen movies that don’t star Woody Allen

I honestly prefer to see Woody Allen films in which he is one of the characters. The films by him that don’t star him usually don’t truly feel like Woody Allen films to me… until now.

For the first time in his long career, Woody Allen has finally found an actor who can take the place of himself in movies. That actor is Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld. Many people, including myself, did not know about Larry David until he had his own show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. In that show, he plays himself. Woody Allen seems to be the person who takes actors who have made it big in Hollywood and then find a way to fit them in his movies.

If I was a fly on the wall, I would have loved to have heard Woody Allen watching Curb Your Enthusiasm and saying, “That’s me!”

Watching Woody Allen’s newest film, Whatever Works, what stands out to me the mosts is how Larry David fits perfectly into the role that seemed perfect for Woody Allen to play himself. Watching the film, I did not miss Woody Allen the way I miss an actor in a sequel who decides not to reprise the role of a character. Watching the movie Hannibal, I really wished that Jodie Foster played Clarise. When a character is memorable, replacing the actor or actress can make watching the film difficult. However, watching this film, Larry David was able to fit into the role perfectly.

Larry David essentially played the same kind of person he did in Curb Your Enthusiasm, which would be himself. Woody Allen also usually a character who is just like himself in films. The reason why this works so well is because Larry David is so much like Woody Allen that he was able to fit into the role without having to alter his personality. In a way, Larry David’s performance of Woody Allen is either an amazing portrayal of Woody Allen or not a performance at all.

Seeing a Woody Allen film without Woody Allen was perfectly alright for me because Woody Allen found his ultimate match in Larry David. I hope that Woody Allen uses Larry David again in more of his films.

I have to also say, I really enjoyed the film Whatever Works and recommend that others see it as well.


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