Everyone Says I Love You Reviews
Set across New York, Paris, and Venice, this is a look at a large group of comfortably well off people and their various romantic endeavors, both successful and otherwise. Taking a different approach compared to a lot of musicals, Allen decided to take the approach of common people just randomly breaking into song and (sometimes) dance numbers. As a result, most of the cast do their own singing, with the exception being Drew Barrymore who convinced Allen she had no musical ability whatsoever. Apparently Goldie Hawn may have been dubbed as well, supposedly because Allen told her that her singing was too good, and she should sing worse, as she sounded too good to seem like like a regular person breaking into song.
Having some musical training myself, I must say, the cast do a good job. Alan Alda and Edward Norton are pretty terrific, Tim Roth is surprisingly decent, and everyone else proves moderately passable at the very least.
And there is a star studded cast here. Aisde from who I've already mentioned, there's also Woody himself, Natasha Lyonne, Julia Roberts, Gaby Hoffmann, Natalie Portman, lukas Haas, and, very briefly, Liv Tyler and Billy Crudup. If there's anyone I missed, I'm sorry.
The performances in general are fine, pretty much what you'd expect from this kind of thing. The story and style are typical of Woody, but, having it be a musical elevates the proceedings.
The song and dance numbers are well staged and executed, especially the final dance, and, in general, this is a very funny, fun, and charming film that is really kinda hard to dislike. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't, by and large, a standout entry of Woody's filmography, but there's just something about it that I found to be really irresistible, so yeah, give it a watch.
Filled with an all star line up, this just seems to work a little uneven in parts but overall quite enjoyable, I thought Woody & Alan Alda where the stand outs.
It's a bit more of a risk on his end & I feel he did ok, the story is a little recycled but his his usual brand mark is evident. A fun, fluffy film...
I met two older girls at a party, when I was a small kid, in Bombay, as it was called then, and I imagined them to be two girls talking together, at my school, back at Kolkata. I assumed they were identical, and I asked them if they were the same girls at the same party, because they remembered me. It seems, to my sensibility, Mr. Allen was advertising many great cities, and just to make people happy about nice movies.
The film has, as usual, an all star cast and the funny thing about it is that apart from a few people (like Goldie Hawn) the film does not feature that many professional singers. Instead of singers they give us actors like Edward Norton and Natalie Portman; really! Them in a musical! Well yeah why not?
The film takes place in New York City, Paris, and for a good portion of the film Venice. This might have been the beginning of Woody's transition to Europe love instead of everything being in New York. But what would Allen do without New York? So there has to be some element of that in this film, and he uses it perfectly, as always. The film is narrated by D.J (Natashia Lyronne), the daughter of Joe (Allen) and Steffi (Hawn). Now here is where I will give you the family tree here because at first it can be a bit confusing: Joe and Steffi were once married but divorced. They are still very good friends, and she is married now to Bob (Alda). She has four kids with him: Skylar (Barrymore) who is getting married to Holden (Norton), Scott and only son (Lukas Haas), Lane the second youngest (Gaby Hoffman), and Laura (Portman). Well as with a lot of Allen films, Allen's character just cannot seem to luck out with women. He gets dumped and he has no idea why. When he goes to find comfort in his friends Steffi and Bob I was instantly reminded of one of his earliest films Play it Again Sam (1972). Only this time there is music. It seems so natural. The fact that a lot of the characters are not the greatest singers make this film better for the sole reason that it seems realistic; more authentic. I mean why can't the average man just sing when he feels like it or when words are not enough. There are some subtle conflicts in this film, and the plot is more complicated and in depth than that of a normal musical. Holden and Skylar are in love, but Skylar falls in love with this ex convict, Joe has fallen in love with a woman that needs psychiatric help, and with the help of DJ, who secretly listens in on the woman's therapy sessions, Joe knows what to say at the right time. The woman by the way is Von (Roberts) who is an art obsessed woman. Alda has problems with his suddenly Republican son, and to top it all off Laura and Lane are in love with the same boy.
This is a musical so I think that I am safe in saying that all problems are resolved and we can all live happily ever after, even if it is an Allen film.
What gets me about this film, apart from the wonderful stories that seem to blend in so well, is the performers. Woody Allen knows what makes a good character and he knows how to find the right people to portray those characters on the screen. This time his choices are interesting. The person you would think that would be most out of place would be Edward Norton. Norton is one of the most talented and serious actors working today. His resume speaks for itself; American History X (1998), Fight Club (1999), The Illusionist (2006), the Painted Veil (2006), and so many other great films, but this seems to b reaching. I mean really, Edward Norton singing and dancing in a musical comedy. Oh, well Mr. Norton you impress me all the more with this film. One can argue that this is his more versatile role of his career and it is one of his best because he is at complete ease speaking in Woody tongue and he seems to take a delight in being simply goofy. I admit that I am not usually fond of Barrymore, but I must say that she manages to take control of her screen time with a certain authority. Her character is not the most important, but Barrymore seems more adept at being a supporting player, and she takes her screen time and makes out like a bandit each time. Apart from Norton, there are other great performances by Alda, Roberts, Hawn, and Allen. Oh what the heck, every single character was fantastic and there is not a dry spot to be found in this cast that has remarkable chemistry.
The song selection are all oldies, as you can imagine. Allen wanted to make a classical musical, and he manages to pull it off; a feat that has been attempted by other directors, and each have not managed to find success in doing so. I know that some movie goers will be put off by the singing at times. Yes the singing is not always the best, but there is a tender sweetness to their voices that you cannot help but shrug that fact off.
The scenery is magnificent and the script is gold. The performances are great, so is there a problem. Well this film is Woody. Almost too Woody. He does not really break the mold here in his story. In fact it is like Play it Again Sam just with music and no Diane Keaton (who would have been superb as Steffi [no disrespect to Hawn]). I love Allen's plots. They are practically a genre of their own, but there are times where you I feel that he needed to branch out a little more. Perhaps have his character get the girl rather than having the girl leave him all the time. Maybe his male stars can be a little more aggressive rather than neurotic and clumsy. Oh well, it is a winning formula and it makes us laugh so to the change is not really that necessary, but sooner or later he is going to have to jazz it up a bit.
With so many sub par musicals coming out (if they are made at all) it is great to finally see a modern musical that can keep up with the old and leave us a little nostalgic and whistling a tone to yourself. Hey maybe we can sing a musical number ourselves....just make sure that your not in public.