Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Everyone Says I Love You

Written, directed, and starring Woody Allen, Everyone Says I Love You is a musical about the life of an upper-class family that involves many things including an ex-husband trying to find love in Venice. The film explores many ideas involving love including an engaged couple, a man trying to find new love, and children trying to find love as it features an ensemble cast where most of them sing. Also starring Alan Alda, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts, Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Tim Roth, Natalie Portman, Gaby Hoffmann, Natasha Lyonne, Lukas Haas, and David Odgen Stiers. Everyone Says I Love You is a delightful musical-comedy from Woody Allen.

The film is a multi-narrative story about the year in the life of a family as they experience many things in the course of the film including an engagement, a young man’s interest in conservatism, young girls trying to find love, and a woman’s ex-husband tries to find love in Venice. While it’s a premise that is simple with a simple theme, it’s told in a very unique fashion that includes many musical numbers as well as it’s told from a young woman who sees her father trying to find love while being in a loving though eccentric family in upstate New York City. Woody Allen’s screenplay is quite unique as he creates a story all told in the span of the year where there’s a lot that is going on where he brings a lot of humor and some drama into the story. Even as he plays into the many storylines involving some of the characters and their experiences with love in all of its complexities.

Allen’s direction is quite lively as he aimed for something that is a bit more natural as many of his actors aren’t adept to the musicals. There, some of the dancing and singing feels more engaging and realistic while there’s moments where it is choreographed to play up a world that is more of a fantasy as it plays to that theme of love. Allen uses a lot of wide and medium shots for the musical numbers to capture the broadness of the dancing and singing while maintaining an element of style to the compositions. Even in the way he makes New York City so lively in its many seasons while shooting some scenes in Paris and Venice. Overall, Allen creates a very entertaining and lively film about love.

Cinematographer Carlo Di Palma does brilliant work with the film‘s lush cinematography from the different looks of New York City as well as the scenes set in Venice. Editor Susan E. Morse does amazing work with the editing from the use of montages to introduce on characters and their situations along with the musical numbers with its lively rhythmic cuts. Production designer Santo Loquasto, with set decorator Elaine O’Donnell and art director Tom Warren, does superb work with the set pieces from the look of the New York penthouse to some of the look of some of the locations.

Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland does wonderful work with the costumes to play up a sense of style for many of the characters including the climatic party at end of the film. Visual effects supervisor Randall Balsmeyer does nice work with the visual effects for a musical sequence involving ghosts. Sound editor Robert Hein does excellent work with the sound to play up the low-key sound of the locations. The film’s soundtrack is fabulous for its use of standards with some additional lyrics and arrangements by Dick Hyman to modernize the songs while having them to help tell the story.

The casting by Juliet Taylor is just incredible for the ensemble that is used for this film as it features appearances from violinist Itzhak Perlman as well as Isiah Whitlock Jr. as a cop, Billy Crudup as a man DJ meets, Trude Klein as the family maid Frieda, David Odgen Stier and Scotty Bloch as Holden’s parents, John Griffin as a young man Lane and Laura fall for, and Patrick Cranshaw as the grandfather of the Dandridge clan. Tim Roth is excellent as a convicted man named Charles Ferry who comes between Holden and Skylar. Natalie Portman and Gaby Hoffmann are wonderful in their respective as the siblings Laura and Lane while Lukas Haas is terrific as their conservative-obsessed older brother Scott. Natasha Lyonne is superb as DJ, the Dandridge clan’s half-sister who helps her father find love.

Edward Norton is amazing as Holden as a young man eager to marry Skylar while Drew Barrymore is a delight as Skylar as a woman who loves Holden as she’s later drawn to Charles. Alan Alda is very funny as Bob Dandridge as a man trying to deal with the chaos of his family including his son. Julia Roberts is fabulous as Von who is a woman looking for love as she meets DJ’s father Joe. Goldie Hawn is brilliant as Joe’s ex-wife Steffi Dandridge who tries to do something with her life while helping Joe out. Finally, there’s Woody Allen in a stellar performance as Joe as a man dealing with heartbreak as he finds a new love in Von while admitting he’s still in love with Steffi.

Everyone Says I Love You is an extraordinary film from Woody Allen. Armed with a great ensemble cast and a lively film soundtrack, the film is definitely one of Allen’s more underrated features as well as one of his most entertaining. Notably as it plays to the world of love in all of its ups and downs. In the end, Everyone Says I Love You is a marvelous film from Woody Allen.

Woody Allen Films: What's Up Tiger Lily? - Take the Money and Run - Bananas - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) - Sleeper - Love and Death - Annie Hall - Interiors - Manhattan - Stardust Memories - A Midsummer's Night Sex Comedy - Zelig - Broadway Danny Rose - The Purple Rose of Cairo - Hannah & Her Sisters - Radio Days - September - Another Woman - New York Stories: Oedipus Wrecks - Crimes & Misdemeanors - Alice - Shadows and Fog - Husbands and Wives - Manhattan Murder Mystery - Bullets Over Broadway - Don't Drink the Water - Mighty Aphrodite - Deconstructing Harry - Celebrity - Sweet & Lowdown - Small Time Crooks - The Curse of the Jade Scorpion - Hollywood Ending - Anything Else - Melinda & Melinda - Match Point - Scoop - Cassandra’s Dream - Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Whatever Works - You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - Midnight in Paris - To Rome with Love - Blue Jasmine - Magic in the Moonlight - Irrational Man - (Cafe Society)

The Auteurs #24: Woody Allen Pt. 1 - Pt. 2 - Pt. 3 - Pt. 4

© thevoid99 2013


Courtney Small said...

This film often gets a knocked as being a "lesser" Woody Allen title, but I think it is an absolute gem of a film. The cast is solid and the musical numbers are quite inventive.

thevoid99 said...

"Lesser" Woody Allen?

Yeah right. I enjoyed this film immensely. I love the musical numbers and the fact that many of the actors were singing no matter if they had good voices or not. Plus, in my current list of the films I've seen from him. Even though it's in 28 at this moment. It's still a very fine musical. There's two re-watches of his films to see plus there's six more films (including the new one) that I'm going to see for the first time. The next part will be unveiled next Friday and the final part 2 weeks after that.

Tom said...

I'll add this to my "to see" list. Gaby Hoffman and Natalie Portman sisters? Interesting. I just read an article where Gaby claims she's broke. Yet Natalie has come so far since then.

thevoid99 said...

@Tom-I haven't heard that Gaby Hoffmann is broke though is currently working on several films at the moment as she had been on hiatus making films.