Deconstructing Harry - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Deconstructing Harry Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2009
One of the director's darkest, the funny Deconstructing Harry has an incredible script (by Woody Allen, of course) and, as it's customary with his films (and more so with his comedies), an incredible cast. Allen, Hazelle Goodman, Caroline Aaron, Judy Davis and Eric Lloyd stand out in an ensemble that also features Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Tobey Maguire, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Billy Crystal and Kirstie Alley.
Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2009
Harry Block has written a best seller... bout his best friends... he revealed their deepest secrets... and they're not pleased... now Harry Block is going to Hell...
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2007
The poorly balanced pedantry and disjointedness of this Woody Allen work can be pretty annoying; but some funny bits can compensate that.
Super Reviewer
½ April 12, 2008
Woody's blend of nihilist, fatalistic, atheistic philosophies is my life.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2007
This is an incredibly underrated film by Woody Allen, overlooked for the likes of Annie Hall, which is good but you've gotta admit not spectacular. Allen delves deep into the soul of a messed up, womanizing, pill-popping old writer who steals and colors his own life experiences and throws them into his own novels. This is the first Allen film where the word f-ck is used gratuitously, and while it did take me aback the first few times, it makes way for an edgier, tougher understanding of an entirely different character from Allen's typical neurotics. Judy Davis's hysterics never fail to impress, even in her limited role. There's the expected hilarious one-liners mixed in with some wise, pithy zingers that truly shed some thought on life. I guess it's not for everybody, but I'm sure everybody can agree on Harry lamentation near the end: I'm ODing on myself!
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2007
Allen's last good movie, acid and with plenty of dark humour.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2011
I know Woody Allen is supposed to be this wonderful director, and his movies are studied in college film classes all the time, but I just don't get the attraction. I do see where Larry David gets his inspiration for loud-mouthed, annoying characters who can't seem to shut up. I swear I have tried to like Woody, but he just annoys me far too much. An all-star cast is mostly wasted in this, as the only actor who appears on-screen for more than ten seconds at a time is Woody, a man in love with the sound of his own voice. Please don't ask me to watch any more. I wanted to scream at this guy to just shut up and keep it zipped!
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2013
Deconstructing Harry is by far Woody Allen's darkest and most revealing movie, and it doesn't exactly paint a flattering portrait of him, but it's also funny (although not his funniest) and has a great cast and interesting style that make it worth seeing for fans of Allen.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2010
It might be the darkest and most self hating of Allen's comedies and I mean that as a compliment.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2008
Woody Allen goes darker but doesn't skimp on quality.
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2009
Woody Allen's proof that he is repeating himself can be found in the ironic (and iconic) "Deconstruction" of himself here. At least he's repeating himself by using some philosophical, albeit honest humor.

What is amazing in this film is how the whole cast tries so much to live up to the director's expectations, while he is obviously indifferent on how his on screen persona tears everything up. Woody Allen enjoys deconcstructing himself, when everyone around him doesn't, and this is so obvious that you want to scream to him: "get ouf of the fucking film, already- aren't there actors out there who would be so much better in playing you?".

I can't really, for the life of me, understand why he hasn't stuck to writing scripts, which is his actual talent.
Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2009
Allen's best. His characteristical lack of structure and creativity slash madness have more sense here than in any other of his comedies. Also, it's his darkest and funniest.
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2009
Man, one of Woody Allens best I've seen so far (I'm making it a goal to see as many as i can before i perish) How do we begin? Woody Allen plays a neurotic...umm.....Woody Allen stars as Woody Allen the writer. Characters ga-FUCKING-lore man, lot's of hysterical women.. the scene in hell was the best. Woody Allen films (the ones i've seen ofcourse) are never really hysterical and i think that's the point.. I would just like to see the world through his eyes..that's all.
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2008
My personal favorite Woody Allen film and one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It's great in every single aspect.
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2007
Lively, well-paced and chock-full of fragmets of Allen's sharp imagination. There is an R-rated edge that is not proper to his style, but it just adds a certain bite to his material, which, by the way, is a tad more angrier than most of his others. The humongous cast Allen put together works brilliantly, as always, and... well, there's not much else to say. It's very, very good, once again.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2006
Probably my favorite Allen movie. Great performances by the wide cast.
February 8, 2012
In my continuing leap into Woody Allen's filmography, this is another dark one, but at least it has a lighter tone about it. It tells the life of Harry Block in the present, but his past is told through his short stories. Harry narrates various semi-autobiographical short stories that outline his history so that the story in the present makes more sense. What we get is a film about the relationship of a writer to his work, and how his outside life is affected by his work. What do writers owe to their families and friends? What experience should be left private and what is free game for authorial use? All interesting questions that are asked here, and Allen is smart enough to know they can't be solved.
½ September 11, 2010
I enjoyed this movie. the dialogue (though surprisingly profane for Allen) was well-written, the plot was very content-rich, and the humour was subtle, clever, and even challenging at times. the journey of Harry Block, as seen through his life and work, is repetitive, cynical, and almost entirely unpleasant. a dark but honest look at Allen's own life and career in his own offbeat, neurotic style. an admirable late-career film with some awesome acting talent.
½ April 4, 2010
"A character who is too neurotic to function in real life so must function in his art. His writing in more ways than one, saved his life."

Yes, Allen's greatest hero was Bergman so this is clearly a modern day american parallel to Wild Strawberries. Except of course, unlike Bergman's lead man Allen is far from humble. In fact, Allen is the protype of the post-modern man Bergman poses as the future of the west.
Deconstructing Harry is a writer's look at his past and how his writing led him to go astray. the scene with Robin Williams as an 'out-of-focus' person who requires the world to look at him with glasses is the ultimate parable of Allen's film style. Sex is the forefront of Allen movies and his guilt/repression/penis issues are what drives his films. Deconstruction was big in the 90's, when this film was made, and it really is a philosophical experiment in 'what if', easy to overlook.
March 9, 2009
Burt: "Do you care even about the holocaust, or do you think it never happened?
Harry Block: Not only do I know that we lost 6 million, but the scary thing is that records are made to be broken."

Harry Block is a very cynical and jaded New York writer who has had a long and well received career as a writer of novels, many based on lightly veiled versions of his own life. Harry is going downhill fast, having alienated almost everyone he knows, by airing their dirty laundry in his books. Now he's a pill popping alcoholic, who has run out of things to say. He pretty much spends his time seeing his shrink, drinking, taking various prescription medications, and hanging out with hookers. Woody Allen is not the most ready figure that comes to mind when you think of prominent directors of fantastic cinema. The good news about Deconstructing Harry is that it is Woody Allen back on form and even returning somewhat to the heyday of still unsurpassed masterpiece Annie Hall to wind the old Allen neuroses into a kind of grandly existential self-inquisitorial on-screen psychodrama.
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