Whatever Works | Chicago Reader

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2009

Comedy
When most actors speak Woody Allen's dialogue they sound like him; when Larry David speaks it he sounds like himself, which makes him the ideal stand-in and soul mate for the kvetching filmmaker. David plays a misanthropic genius in quantum mechanics who takes in and soon marries a sunny but stupid teenager (Evan Rachel Wood) on the run from her Christian parents in Mississippi. Whether you want to trace this romance back to La Strada or Allen's marriage to Soon-Yi Previn is your business, but on-screen it never registers as more than a writer's conceit. The movie marks Allen's return to New York after three projects shot in Europe, and his Big Apple smugness is more offensive than ever: when the girl's mother (Patricia Clarkson) and then her father (Ed Begley Jr.) show up, they're cracker stereotypes who can be redeemed only by awakening to Allen's cosmopolitan attitudes. PG-13, 92 min.
Official Site: www.sonyclassics.com/whateverworks
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Producer: Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum
Cast: Ed Begley Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Larry David, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean, Evan Rachel Wood, Henry Cavill, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Hecht and Carolyn McCormick

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