Radio Days Reviews
A wonderfully sentimental, nostalgic and funny homage to radio from Woody Allen. Though the story in the movie doesn't fit his life story exactly you can see how it could be very close to it. It's also a history lesson, as many of radio's seminal moments from the 30s and 40s are covered (eg Orson Welles's War of the Worlds). Moreover, the broad feeling of nostalgia for a time and experience that cannot be relived and retrieved is very palpable and emotional.
It's not all sentimentality though. The movie largely consists of episodes and vignettes from the narrator's memory. Many of these scenes are absurdly funny (Mia Farrow with the gangster takes the cake, but the prize-winning burglars aren't far behind). Allen allows his imagination to go wild, and it takes him to some wonderfully offbeat places.
Performances are great too. No Woody Allen himself (except as narrator), but we have a young Seth Green effectively playing Woody Allen as a child, and doing a solid job. Good work too from Julie Kavner and Michael Tucker as his parents.
The supporting cast is huge, due to the many mini-stories within the movie, and includes many Woody Allen favorites: Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Tony Roberts. Some only have one or two lines (or, in Diane Keaton's case, one song). Nobody puts a foot wrong. William H Macy and Larry David, unknowns at the time, have minor, non-speaking parts.
While I can more easily relate to the romanticism of other Woody Allen classics such as Annie Hall, or Manhattan, there is a certain charm to the story as seen by a reminiscing boy looking back through rose-tinted glasses.