Every Woody Allen Movie

By Juliet Lapidos

Still of Woody Allen in Annie Hall.
 Woody AllenLike Ian Fleming and P.G. Wodehouse, Woody Allen returns compulsively to the same creative ground. In Allen’s case, it’s ground trod by anxious, well-to-do white people, who swap partners and drop cultural references in an empty, godless universe. The extent of the similarities from one film to the next is remarkable. It’s not just that he recasts actors or that he revisits the themes of domestic boredom and cosmic insignificance. He reuses the same font, EF Windsor Light Condensed, for his titles and credits. He recycles character types: the neurotic Jewish New Yorker (the filmmaker’s spit and image), the adulterous intellectual, the hypochondriac intellectual. He recycles plot lines. He even recycles punch lines. In Celebrity (1998), a model says she’s "polymorphously perverse … meaning every part of my body gives me sexual pleasure." That should sound familiar: In Annie Hall (1977), Alvy tells Annie that she’s "polymorphously perverse … you get pleasure in every part of your body when I touch it."

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