Imagine Larry Davidâ€™s typical comedy, with him using bigger words like existential, idiosyncratic and ostentatious.
Thatâ€™s how Woody Allenâ€™s old-new (Iâ€™ll explain later) film Whatever Works plays out. Boris (David) is a cynical, near-genius who would have won a Nobel Prize in physics, but didnâ€™t because it â€śwas all about politics.â€ť He revels in the fact that he is the intellectual superior to 95% of everyone out there as he questions existence.
Thatâ€™s until he meets Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood). A runaway southern belle befriends Boris, and the pair engage in an awkward spring-winter relationship.
The laughs come from Davidâ€™s standard portrayal of the cranky old Jewish man. He delivers a number of one-liners that made me laugh out loud, but I think I was the only one laughing in my theater.
This seems to be Allenâ€™s typical male fantasy involving a younger woman. It adds in the fantasy of converting seemingly rigid southerners into cultured and sophisticated New Yorkers.
The screenplay was written during the 1970â€™s, but Allen put it aside. He retrieved it during the last potential writers strike. Its not necessarily his best, but any fan of Allen should get a few kicks.