Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci star in a Woody Allen movie, a comedy genre of its own that many critics say is an outdated relic. Though Allen's last movie Hollywood Ending proved that very statement, Anything Else suggests that there may be a few breaths left, though they may be asthmatic breaths.
Anything Else looks at the life of Jerry Falk (Biggs), a young New York writer who is on his way up in the world. His life has become ever so complicated as his contract with his loveable yet restricting agent (Danny DeVito) is expiring, and he begins to suspect that the love of his life, the extremely quirky Amanda (Ricci), is cheating on him. Throw in a much older writer (Allen) that is full of strange wit, and what do you get? Well, another typical Allen movie that surprisingly does not star Allen.
Biggs, who of course has made a name for himself with the American Pie movies, is pretty decent here - not exceptional, but not bad, either. He gets some good lines and has good comedic timing, but he's never been an actor that has impressed me too much. Ricci, on the other hand, has a great character to suit her, as she gets to play a really weird and off-the-wall girlfriend that has some strange ideas floating around in her head. Ricci's character is rather annoying (to the point where you just want Biggs to dump her ass), but at the same time the most refreshing of all of the characters.
As for Allen, he does a pretty good job playing himself. His character in Anything Else is no different than his characters in any other recent movie, but he gives himself some good lines (he wrote the movie, too, of course).
Anything Else has its moments and is never really boring, but it keeps attention by a string. There are some fairly dull parts, and very few hilarious moments. All in all, it is just your average, mediocre film.
In regards to the future of Woody Allen's style of comedy, it is quite clear that if he doesn't change his approach, he will be out of a job. He still has the ability to be funny but seems to be unable to write an effective screenplay that really shows off such ability. He seems unwilling to venture into new territories, and that is why no one watches his movies anymore; they truly are all the same.
Kudos to Anything Else for attempting to inject Allen's comedy into a younger generation, but the movie has very little worth noting. It is not a bad movie, but in the end, it is just like anything else.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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