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Everyone Says I Love You

Starring Goldie Hawn, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Lukas Haas, Natasha Lyonne
Directed by Woody Allen

If I remember correctly, and I do, we discussed my disappointment in Woody Allen's last flick Mighty Aphrodite for a long time here on line. You may also remember that one of the few things that was joyous and fresh about that film, IMO, was the Greek Chorus that would break into song and dance from time to time as it narrated the story. It may have put a spark into Mr. Allen as well as this time out, in Everyone Says I Love You he goes whole hog and delivers his first musical. The spark lit a flame; the flame roared up and out into the best piece of work to spring from the mind of Woody Allen in a very long time.

True, the film is filled with old 30s and 40s standard songs all sung by the actual cast members (well, all but one) and they dance merrily across the screen. What kicks into high gear is Allen applying his comic sensibility to those dances -- whether it be Harry Winston jewelers high stepping in that very posh Fifth Avenue salon; or patients in a hospital doing back-flips while their legs are sheathed in plaster; or a breathtaking parody of those great Astaire-Rogers ballroom dances, set on the banks of the river Seine.

Using Everyone Says I Love You as an instructional tool, you will learn:

  1. How not to propose marriage -- as Edward Norton does at least twice, to Drew Barrymore.

  2. How to -- deviously -- woo a Pretty Woman. In this case it is divorced old guy Allen and fair lady Julia Roberts. It involves having your kid eavesdrop on said lady's sessions with a shrink and a lot of rote memorization.

  3. Why Republicans are the way they are -- and there is no way I'm giving this joke away.

You'll wish you knew where Democrats learned to dance the way they do, but that is a secret left untold. Allen socks it to liberal democrats with as sharp a stick as he did the GOP-ers, and Goldie Hawn delivers the gags to a tee.

The set up is more complicated than most Allen flicks so as succinctly as possible: Allen is divorced from Hawn, who has remarried Alda. One child with each husband. Allen's daughter DJ (Natasha Lyonne) is determined to fix dad up with Roberts, and coaches him up the wazoo during their trans-Atlantic courtship. Alda's daughter by his first marriage, Skylar (Barrymore), is hot on Norton, who tries to propose, but she finds herself feeling hot hot hot for an ex-con (Tim Roth) that ultra-liberal Hawn has managed to free from prison. Toss the interactions around furiously and garnish with Lukas Haas (son of Goldie Hawn and Alan Alda) as the resident Republican and papa Alda is borderline stroking from conniptions. That doesn't even include the nod to rap music as the current bop of choice.

It may sound complicated but it's nothing more than complicated fun -- and that doesn't begin to reveal the depth of Allen's gags.

At least I hope I haven't given anything vital away. The preview audience I sat with ran the gamut of demographics. No one, repeat no one walked out without a smile on their face.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Everyone Says I Love You, he would have paid...


Everyone Says I Love You comes with my highest recommendation. Even if you don't live in New York or LA. And as mentioned in my "Best of" list, it is.

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