Comedy #13: “Manhattan” (1979)
Boy it’s really hard to pick a Woody Allen movie you know? I mean do you go with the slapstick and retrofuturism of “Sleeper” or the goofy yet bitter sweetness of “Annie Hall” or is that too obvious? It’s where I learned how to pronounce “homunculus” by the way — no its true, before that I kept saying “homo-mucus,” very embarrassing. “Zelig” was cute but I don’t really remember anything about it, and I still haven’t seen “Midnight in Paris” (I know, I know, right?). Of course “Crimes & Misdemeanors” is possibly his best film but that isn’t a comedy by any stretch of the definition, even though it starred that guy from “Space:1999.” What does that leave us? Actually, this isn’t a hard choice because there is only one Woody Allen film that transcends his nebbish dialog and penchant for teenage girls, and that’s his love letter to his home town, “Manhattan.” Boldly shot in black and white, it permanently melds Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue to his own vision until you now can’t think of one without the other.