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Anything Else

I'm a huge Woody Allen fan, but even HE can't put out a film like clockwork every year and not create a couple lesser efforts.

ANYTHING ELSE could be called a lesser effort if you were being kind. If you weren't so generous, you could also call it a painful misfire.

Jason Biggs takes the younger Woody role as comic writer Jerry Falk. Madly in love with one of the most unlikable women ever, Amanda Chase, Jerry finds himself in a hot & cold relationship with an obnoxious, loveless, chain smoking, rude and dizzy partner.

Poor Christina Ricci. She can be so charming and funny on screen (Pan Am, Sleepy Hollow) but she's saddled with a bad, harshly written role here and you spend the film growing to dislike Jerry for not having the balls to dump her.

Danny DeVito has an underwritten role as Jerry's longtime hack agent, a young Jimmy Fallon shows screen presence as a friend and Stockard Channing seems to wonder in from another film occasionally as Amanda's mother.

Balance those folks with Woody Allen (admittedly laugh out loud funny at least a half dozen times here) as an academic friend of Jerry's who has a very violent streak and you've got a a big, unappealing mess.

Woody has said that he wanted to write and star as a character that was the antithesis of himself. Violent where he is passive, confident where he is timid, the anti-Woody.

In turn, he gives the usual neurotic role to Jason Biggs as Jerry, who is in way over his head.

Very little of this works. It's all rather painful.

If you're in the mood to watch this 2003 Woody Allen film, do yourself a favor and pick another Allen film.

Anything Else, but this. It gets a D.

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