Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Larry David, Patty Clarkson and Kristen Johnston
Synopsis Aging New York City man begins romance with a much younger (what a surprise!) southern gal and has wacky encounters with her family.
Brought to you by Sony Pictures Classics
Expected Release Date Summer
Fox: I have a Woody Allen blind spot. Meaning, the man could put out crap for the rest of his life, and I would still hold out hope that the next time around would produce one of his good ones. I'm also not one to jump all over Allen's post-80s output. Not at all. I quite like many of the films he made in the last twenty years. However, personally, I can do without any more European Scarlett Johannson jaunts.
I have high expectations for Whatever Works because it has a unique comic supporting cast in Ed Begley Jr. and Kristen Johnston. And... oh yeah... he's FINALLY WORKING WITH LARRY DAVID! It might be great, but it could just as well go all wrong. Woody Allen doing southern caricature humor? Oy. Yeah, it could go very wrong.
Nathaniel: I share your blind spot. (Speaking of blind -- why wasn't that gag funnier in Hollywood Ending? It had such potential) But I don't share the enthusiasm for Larry David. I just hope he's not the Woody proxy. I don't think that ever quite works unless it's minus the proxy part. I prefer the pictures without an obvious Woody Allen role -- like Vicky Cristina Barcelona or Match Point. I wanted to kill Kenneth Branagh when he was trying to "do" Woody in Celebrity.
And I'm glad ScarJo was tossed aside for this one though I wonder how Evan Rachel Wood will fare in Woody's universe -- it's so different than the one she usually inhabits onscreen... or the one we all live in come to think of it.
JA: This one didn't make my short-list because my blind-spot for Woody's films shuts out the films entirely until they suddenly appear at the local indie multiplex and somebody suggests we see that new Woody picture and I say 'what new Woody picture?'... you get the gist. I had heard he was working with Larry David, but this "wacky southern" angle is new to me and... it has me terrified. Mainly because my boyfriend is southern and the slightest hint of tired southern stereotyping causes him to go apoplectic and I just don't need to deal with that (again). Borat made him spit nails.
What worries me here with regards to that is Woody's not above relying on tired stereotypes even recently - the only reason the Latin Lover and Fiery Latina stereotypes Woody made Bardem and Cruz play in VCB worked was that those actors made something out of them that in my opinion wasn't really on the page. So let's hope his actors are up to the challenge this go around then. I don't need to dodge spit nails anymore!
Joe: If we all share the same Woody Allen blind spot (as I do as well), how the hell did this movie make our list? Not that I'm not looking forward to it, but that was before I learned that Larry David, and not the delectable Henry Cavil, would be playing the lead. Because, silly me, why WOULDN'T Larry David be the perfect romantic counterpart for Evan Rachel Wood? (Although at the rate she's going lately...) Every time I think Woody's going to allow me to forget his creepy and gross relationship with women, he has to go and pull one of these. Anyway, Larry David teaming up with Woody Allen seems like a clash of similar styles -- kind of like if Woody had cast Mel Brooks in his movies twenty years or so ago. How much "Jewy Old Curmudgeon" humor can the South be expected to handle?
On the other hand: Patty Clarkson. Oh, okay. I'm in.
Fox: Speaking of Woody's "gross relationship with women", he may be pushing the "little girl" thing a bit too much by giving Evan Rachel pig tails and color clashing outfits. I mean, in that first still she looks like she's twelve! Maybe he saw her in thirteen and got inspired.
JA, I share in your boyfriend's nail spitting fits. I mean, I'm from "Texas", not the South (we think we're special!), but Southern characters in films is something I think filmmakers continually get wrong. (Though, a shout out to Jeff Nichols for getting it right in Shotgun Stories). I hope Woody doesn't add on to that long line of failures.
And, Nathaniel, at least Hollywood Ending had that shot of Woody falling from the rafters. That had me howling and made putting up with the movie's other weaknesses worth it.
Whitney: Maybe it made our list because I put it up there pretty high. I've got a little bit of a thing for old Jewish men and Larry David is my favorite. I might be the only one in the world that thinks he's so sexy. Yep. Sexy.
Joe: Well, you and Evan Rachel Wood, hopefully.
In case you missed any entries they went like so...
We Can't Wait:
#1 Inglourious Basterds, #2 Where the Wild Things Are, #3 Fantastic Mr. Fox,
#4 Avatar, #5 Bright Star, #6 Shutter Island, #7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
#8 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, #9 Nailed, #10 Taking Woodstock,
#11 Watchmen, #12 The Hurt Locker, #13 The Road, #14 The Tree of Life
#15 Away We Go, #16 500 Days of Summer, #17 Drag Me To Hell,
#18 Whatever Works, #19 Broken Embraces, #20 Nine (the musical)
intro (orphans -didn't make group list)