Deconstructing Harry - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Deconstructing Harry Reviews

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August 11, 2014
(First and only viewing - 11/3/2008)
June 16, 2014
Funny, provocative and extremely delicious, one of the riskiest comedies of Woody Allen brings a fleeting script and harsh interpretations and a nimble cast. Again, Woody Allen surprises his audience and brings an ironic and stunning story in "Deconstructing Harry"
May 14, 2014
great film. Woody Allen has managed to invent great styles of story telling and he does it better every time (order doesn't matter).

Totally recommended!
April 27, 2014
Sensacional. A babaquice humana faz parte do todo. Às vezes, só o que nos conforta são as coisas que criamos. E às vezes nem isso.
March 18, 2014
Woody Allen makes a dark and funny film about a novelist who has long written books based on his own experiences and alienated many along the way. It sort of feels like a reworking of Allen's earlier "Stardust Memories". Much like that film, it is more of a dark comedy than a zany comedy or straight drama...which is why I guess neither film is as loved as "Annie Hall" or "Hannah and Her Sisters" . I think this is a solid Allen effort, it runs through his usual themes and topics, but in a unique way that sets it apart from some of his other films, while remaining truly Woody Allen-esque.
March 16, 2014
Deconstructing Harry begins with a very repetitive intro sequence which delivers nothing of positive quality to the success of the film, and it suggests that maybe Deconstructing Harry may follow a similar nature.

Overall, it's a substandard effort on behalf of Woody Allen.
Deconstructing Harry is a scattered story which has a lot of potential but turns itself into a series of unsuccessful comedic sketches. While Deconstructing Harry could have been the complicated psychological exploration of its titular character like it wanted to be, instead it degrades itself to a cluster of barely jointed story dynamics which jump from one to the next without ever really settling or giving time for viewers to take in what is happening. It just rushes through everything at a very fast pace and attempts to cram so much in there, but there is little that actually has any effect or is worth remembering. The film isn't the deconstruction of the titular character Harry, it's a story if a stereotypical Woody Allen character put into the context of Charlie Sheen's life but played off like a light comedy. In actuality it's a pretty sadistic film, and not in a good way.
The nature of the story is dark, but it's too scared to really understand that and do anything with it. It doesn't respect its viewers enough to be a meaningful deconstruction of a character with complicated psychology, instead spending time wasting its talented ensemble cast on a lot of meaningless and poorly conceived sketches which are full of pointless characters and lame gags.
The script in Deconstructing Harry is memorable for nothing else if not for its excessive swearing. The script is packed with a lot of swearing which feels out of place and has an excessive nature to it. Any comedic success of the story isn't present in Deconstructing Harry. The only time I ever laughed the whole time was when I snickered at one Jewish joke towards the end. So the comedic efforts of Deconstructing Harry were unsuccessful with me.
Deconstructing Harry has nothing to teach viewers when it could have been positive from a psychological standpoint, but riding the lesser qualities of Woody Allen's writing talents. It had its moments, but it is of a sub par quality in the end and doesn't come close to equating with his more intelligent works. The script is neither refreshing nor funny, and considering that Woody Allen holds the world record for most Academy Award nominations for writing original screenplays with 16 nominations, 3 of which were wins it is a serious disappointment. Frankly, Woody Allen makes a lot of films. Some of them are good, others not so much. Deconstructing Harry is an example of one of the others. His direction doesn't make it any better.
Frankly, the only qualities that Deconstructing Harry can rest on which succeed is the cast, with the exception of Woody Allen whose lead performance is once again very routine and has gotten to the point where it's pretty self indulgent as well as Judy Davis and Kirstie Alley.
Of all the actors, the standouts would be Julia-Louis Dreyfuss whose natural comedic timing makes her a great addition to the cast especially if the viewer is as much of a fan of Seinfeld as I am, Elizabeth Shue who has a natural charm about her which she proves once again, Tobey Maguire whose widely recognised social awkwardness makes him a prime example of an actor who can nail a role written to be like Woody Allen, Demi Moore's whose small role uses the better elements of her acting ability and Billy Crystal who is simply good to have on board.

But aside from a fairly good cast, Deconstructing Harry is an unfunny and unoriginal film which is poorly directed and suffers from a misconceived script which was somehow nominated for an Academy Award, and it's simply one of Woody Allen's more self-indulgent projects.
½ March 5, 2014
deconstructing harry or deconstructing woody? you know, he interprets himself, he directs for himself and he wrote about himself, i don't know why "harry" is in the name when it really should be "woody".
½ February 11, 2014
I thought it was great to see Woody Allen kick loose in a truly vulgar way, something that you never see in his films. Many parts are very hilarious and a few other parts seem a bit old, but overall it's a pretty good piece in the Allen canon.
January 8, 2014
Potty-mouthed, mean-spirited fun!
½ December 25, 2013
Deconstructing Harry, understanding Woody ... and ourselves--Digging to the core; leave no stone unturned!!
½ November 9, 2013
Poorly written and trying too hard. Allen at his most unbearable. Didn't finish watching.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2013
Woody Allen goes darker but doesn't skimp on quality.
September 15, 2013
Woody's most vulgar film is also one of the best tales of life inspiring art that I've seen.
September 2, 2013
Spoofing Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 and Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, Woody Allen crossed fictional characters and actual characters in this film over to lecture the audience on his views on life and love. But the teaching is becoming dry for the multi-personas are somewhat confusing and uninteresting. Judging by the playing of dreams, Woody Allen here still lags much behind his idols.
August 27, 2013
Here is Woody at the end of his tether, a ninety-minute self-examination of yet another thinly disguised alter ego which he will repeatedly defend as not being a representation of himself. Harry Block, a fiercely monstrous man whose core struggle is that he has so severely seperated himself from his life and art as to make the two indistinguishable, has alienated several women over the course of the years, has ruined many of their lives, and sees his life as a complete and utter fuck-up. So it is indeed dark and I can also see why many people dislike this film especially above most of his other works. It does have so much in its favor though and has stood strong over the years as my favorite Allen film.
It boasts one of the most impressive casts ever assembled for a film and given everyone something juicy to do. Judy Davis waving a gun around spewing obscenities ("You turn everyone's pain and suffering into gold, literary gold!"), Billy Crystal as the Devil ("Sure we get air conditioning down here, it fucks up the ozone layer!"), Richard Benjamin screwing Julia Louis Dreyfuss from behind in front of a blind grandmother, Kirstie Alley running around spewing obscenities ("So now you're blaming me because I don't go out with you enough, to meet strangers to FUCK?!"), Demi Moore giving thanks before blowing Stanley Tucci, Robin Williams as an out-of-focus blob, and Tobey Maguire as a doomed, adultering shoe salesman.
It is definitely Allen's sharpest and angriest and most foul-mouthed, foul-deeded film yet. Employing well executed jump cutting to reflect the main character's fragmented self, a personality the equivalent of a broken mirror, we are dragged along the bumpy road as we jump in and out of stories from the character's past and his own works of fiction, which mirrors his life exactly. It is a confusing, hazy, prismatic film about disappointment, immaturity, and the struggle with whether a man's art can ever save him.
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.
April 12, 2013
More Amy Irving please.
½ April 2, 2013
One of Woody Allen's more forgettable films.
½ January 22, 2013
Could've been a good story if it wasn't Woody Allen writing, directing, or starring. The concept sold me despite Woody's name being involved. With him, none of the characters and, worse, the stories are interesting or engaging. Why is Hollywood remaking classics, when they could be remaking the fodder Allen's made? The concepts are usually great, but his execution is excruciating. What I wouldn't do for someone else to remake this film.
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