[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/woody_allen.gif]]

->''"To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness — I hope you're getting this down."''

->''"My brain: it's my second favorite organ."''

Creator/WoodyAllen is a director, actor, screenwriter, comedian, playwright, story writer, essayist, and musician. He was born Allen Stewart Konigsberg in 1935 in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. Most of his films are set in [[BigApplesauce New York]] and feature Jewish or AmbiguouslyJewish characters, often with himself or an AuthorAvatar in the lead role.

His childhood [[DarkAndTroubledPast wasn't particularly happy]], and so he began writing dark-tinged humor -- and [[TeenGenius was already selling the occasional joke by his mid-teens.]]

At seventeen, he entered NYU and the City College, but was quickly expelled. He started to write scripts to shows like ''Series/TheTonightShow'', appeared in ''Series/CandidCamera'' segments like when he had temp secretaries dictating a love letter, and doing RecordedAndStandUpComedy [[ExaggeratedTrope exaggerating]] his own traits. He's never stopped, though the medium, and eventually the AuthorAvatar, has varied. Among other traits, his character is nearly always a SicklyNeuroticGeek, and full of JewishComplaining.

He started directing movies in 1965. Since then, he has directed 41 movies that range from ScrewballComedy to {{Drama}}. He was nominated for an AcademyAward twenty-four times, including a record fifteen nominations for Best Screenplay. He has won four {{Academy Award}}s -- three for Best Screenplay (''Film/AnnieHall''; ''HannahAndHerSisters'' and ''MidnightInParis'') and one for Best Director (''Film/AnnieHall''). His ''Film/AnnieHall'' famously [[AwardSnub beat]] ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars]]'' for the Best Picture Oscar. Allen himself is not really interested in awards; he showed up at the Oscars ceremony only once in 2002, when he encouraged producers to continue filming their movies in New York after 9/11.

Most of his comedies have a certain amount of drama, varying with his mood over time. Most of his dramas have a certain amount of comedy, but the comedy is more diluted in them.

The soundtracks of his movies tend to be jazz music and old (as in 1920s-1930s) standards, no matter when or where the film is set. He did write a musical once, ''EveryoneSaysILoveYou'', but the songs are all lifted directly from that era.

He's undergone psychoanalysis for ''30 YEARS''. Exactly what good it's doing, no one knows, but his [[FreudianExcuse experience]] with psychiatrists has made its way into numerous works.

He's also [[KavorkaMan notorious]] for being a heavy womanizer. He has been involved with Harlene Rosen, Louise Lasser, Diane Keaton, Stacey Nelkin, Mia Farrow -- and Soon-Yi Previn, Mia's adopted daughter with former husband Andre Previn. Woody had adopted Dylan and Moses Farrow, two of Mia's adopted children but had no contact with Soon-Yi for most of her life. He engaged in an affair with Soon-Yi when she was 19, and the resulting outcry led to a bitter and public legal battle and media circus that still defines his image. During this period, he was also accused of sexually assaulting Mia Farrow's other daughter Dylan Farrow when she was ''seven'', but the charges were found to be inconclusive. Dylan still maintains the accusations, while Allen denies them. Naturally, almost every single plotline of his scripts is about [[AuthorAppeal sex, adultery and relationships, among other interesting things.]]

[[HeAlsoDid He also plays the clarinet and has written humorous essays and short stories]]. (There's one about Count {{Dracula}} who finds what looks like a perfect lunch -- only to find out he woke up during a solar eclipse. And the apartment is Danish modern with no shades.)

While his work in the 70s and 80s are all almost universally loved by fans his films of the 90s and (especially) the 00s are divisive amongst critics and audiences with ''MatchPoint'', ''VickyCristinaBarcelona'', ''Film/MidnightInParis'' and (most recently) ''Film/BlueJasmine'' receiving high praise, while other pictures- namely ''Film/CurseOfTheJadeScorpion'' and ''Hollywood Ending''- being not well thought of by most. It should be noted, however, that even the most critically derided films of his filmography still tend to have a few fans here and there.
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!!A somewhat abridged list of movies is presented here:
* ''Film/WhatsNewPussycat'' (1965) - Creator/WoodyAllen's first movie (although it was directed by Clive Donner). Creator/PeterOToole tries to be faithful to his fiancee, but he's a ChickMagnet. PeterSellers is his psychoanalyst, who is stalking one of his patient's stalkers in a motel in France. Allen plays O'Toole's friend who has a crush on the fiancee. The film originally going to star Creator/WarrenBeatty, but when Woody was hired to rewrite it, he kept building up a bit part for himself and shrinking Beatty's role so blatantly that the star quit.
* ''Film/WhatsUpTigerLily?'' (1966) - A secret agent is sent to SimSimSalabim to find a lost egg salad recipe. [[GagDub Gag Dubbed]] from a Japanese [[Film/JamesBond Bond]] knockoff. The concept was so novel at the time that he appears in an introduction to explain the concept to the audience. Interestingly, the project was originally offered to Creator/LennyBruce, who turned it down and recommended Allen for it instead.
* ''Film/CasinoRoyale1967'' - Not written or directed by Allen, but he plays Jimmy Bond, Film/JamesBond's "disappointing" nephew, who is the head of SMERSH and plans to kill all men over 4' 6" tall, so that he gets all the girls.
* ''Film/TakeTheMoneyAndRun'' (1969) - A {{Mockumentary}} focusing on an [[StupidCrooks incompetent, petty thief]]. Co-written by Creator/WoodyAllen. His debut as a full-fledged director.
* ''Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story'' (1971) - A short {{Mockumentary}} satirizing RichardNixon's politics. Made for PBS, but they were afraid of losing their government support, so it was never aired.
* ''Film/{{Bananas}}'' (1971) - To impress a girl, Creator/WoodyAllen learns to be a revolutionary in a BananaRepublic. HilarityEnsues.
* ''PlayItAgainSam'' (1972) - A neurotic Creator/WoodyAllen tries to date other women following the advice of Creator/HumphreyBogart's ghost.
* ''Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)'' (1972) - A series of sketches providing parodic answers to such questions as "What are sex perverts?" and "What is sodomy?"
* ''Film/{{Sleeper}}'' (1973) - A health-food store owner is cryonically frozen (without his consent) for 200 years only to find that the 22nd century America is a police state ruled by a nose. Yes, a ''nose''.
* ''Film/LoveAndDeath'' (1975) - An AffectionateParody of [[Creator/FyodorDostoevsky Dostoevsky's]] and [[Creator/LeoTolstoy Tolstoy's]] romances. Also the start of Allen's TomHanksSyndrome.
* ''Film/TheFront'' (1976) - This Martin Ritt-directed comedy-drama stars Allen as a bookie who lends his name to television screenplays written by his blacklisted friend during the anti-Communist WitchHunt of the '50s.
* ''Film/AnnieHall'' (1977) - Creator/WoodyAllen's most famous movie -- and, perhaps, along with ''Manhattan'', his best (though Allen himself doesn't think much of either of them). It focuses on the difficult relationship between a [[AuthorAvatar comedian]] and the [[TheDitz ditzy]] Annie Hall. [[spoiler: In the end, they split up.]] Winner of four {{Academy Award}}s: Best Picture (for which it beat ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars]]''), Best Director (Allen), and Best Screenplay (Allen), Best Actress ( Diane Keaton). (Allen was also nominated for Best Actor.)
* ''Interiors'' (1978) - Three sisters find their lives spinning out of control after their parents' divorce. Allen's first straight drama.
* ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' (1979) - Creator/WoodyAllen in an intricate LoveDodecahedron with a seventeen-year-old girl, Diane Keaton and MerylStreep. Probably his second most beloved movie after ''Film/AnnieHall'', but he considered the film such an abject disaster that he told the studio he'd make another for free if they didn't release it.
* ''Film/StardustMemories'' (1980) - While attending a retrospect of his work, a filmmaker ([[AuthorAvatar guess who]]) recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films. Also the one that gave critics and fans the phrases "the early, funny ones" and "the later, serious ones".
* ''A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy'' (1982) - At the dawn of the 20th century, a philosopher, a womanizing doctor and their fiancées spend a weekend in the house of a MadScientist and his wife. [[LoveDodecahedron Everyone ends up sneaking off behind everyone else's backs.]]
* ''Film/{{Zelig}}'' (1983) - A {{Mockumentary}}: In the 1920s and 30s, a man named Leonard Zelig involuntarily assumes the traits of the people surrounding him. He uses this ability to [[TheZelig blend in with famous historical people and events]] and [[KavorkaMan bed women]].
* ''Film/BroadwayDannyRose'' (1984) - A talent agent attempts to reconcile a lounge singer with his mistress, Tina Vitale. However, he's mistakenly identified as Tina's lover by a jealous gangster.
* ''Film/ThePurpleRoseOfCairo'' (1985) - In TheGreatDepression, a character in the movie ''[[ShowWithinAShow The Purple Rose of Cairo]]'' falls from the screen into the real world during the film's exhibition, and enters the life of a lonely, unhappily married woman.
* ''Film/HannahAndHerSisters'' (1986) - One of Allen's best-known movies. Between two Thanksgivings, a LoveDodecahedron makes three sisters switch their husbands. Oscar winners: Dianne Wiest and MichaelCaine.
* ''Film/RadioDays'' (1987) - A {{narrator}} tells the story of his youth and the influence of radio in it.
* ''September'' (1987) - Yet another LoveDodecahedron, and a tragic story relating mother-daughter relationship, influenced by Creator/IngmarBergman. Inspired by stage play TV broadcasts. Allen filmed the whole movie, then threw out the whole cast, and started again with a new cast.
* ''Another Woman'' (1988) - A philosophy teacher observes the everyday of another woman and decides to change everything bad in her own life.
* ''Oedipus Wrecks'' (1989) - A short film (part of ''Film/NewYorkStories'') about a lawyer who makes his LargeHam JewishMother disappear in an illusionist act. [[spoiler:She reappears, floating in the sky over Manhattan, and she's not happy.]]
* ''Film/CrimesAndMisdemeanors'' (1989) - A ophthalmologist hires a hitman to kill his mistress, and a movie director is hired to make a documentary about his brother-in-law whom he despises.
* ''Alice'' (1990) - A seemingly happy housewife realizes that she's a StepfordSmiler. She visits an herbalist that gives her three kinds of herbs which provide her with super-powers so she can straighten up her life.
* ''Shadows And Fog'' (1991) - An homage to German Expressionism; a vigilante mob tries to catch a SerialKiller in the midst of a circus.
* ''Film/HusbandsAndWives'' (1992) - When their best friends announce that they're separating, a professor and his wife discover the faults in their marriage.
* ''Film/ManhattanMurderMystery'' (1993) - A nosy housewife drags her reluctant husband into an [[AmateurSleuth amateur investigation]] of their neighbour's death.
* ''Film/BulletsOverBroadway'' (1994) - A WideEyedIdealist playwright has to cast a talentless woman into the leading role of his Broadway play, because she's the girlfriend of a violent mobster. The second time that Dianne Wiest won Best Supporting Actress for a role in a Creator/WoodyAllen movie, beating out one of her costars.
* ''Theatre/DontDrinkTheWater'' (1994) - An American family is trapped in a US embassy behind the IronCurtain while the ambassador's incompetent son is in charge. Based on his 1966 play, this TV adaptation was directed by Allen, who was dissatisfied with the earlier 1969 film adaptation.
* ''Mighty Aphrodite'' (1995) - An AffectionateParody of Greek tragedies set in New York. HilarityEnsues. Oscar winner: Mira Sorvino.
* ''Film/EveryoneSaysILoveYou'' (1996) - A [[TheMusical Musical]] about a New York girl who manipulates the relationships of everyone around her.
* ''Film/DeconstructingHarry'' (1997) - The DeconstructiveParody of a [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstruction]].
* ''[=Celebrity=]'' (1998) - After his divorce, a man blows every chance he has to be famous, while his ex-wife reaches stardom without doing much. Stars Creator/KennethBranagh doing a [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Creator/WoodyAllen impression]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'' (1998) - An ant saves his colony from drowning at the hands of his [[ANaziByAnyOtherName General]]. A ShoutOut to ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''. As with ''The Front'', Allen didn't write it or direct it, but he starred in it, and his character ''seems'' to have been tailored specifically for him.
* ''Sweet And Lowdown'' (1999) - A {{Mockumentary}} about a fictional JerkAss jazz guitarist.
* ''Film/SmallTimeCrooks'' (2000) - A man tries to rob a bank by digging a tunnel from [[TheConvenientStoreNextDoor an old restaurant he bought]]. His wife covers up the scheme by selling cookies from the restaurant. The robbery is a miserable failure, but the cookies are [[BecomingTheMask a big success]]. Allen's first straight comedy since the '70s.
* ''[[Film/CurseOfTheJadeScorpion The Curse of the Jade Scorpion]]'' (2001) - A insurance investigator is hypnotized to steal jewels. His most expensive movie in terms of budget and also his biggest flop.
* ''Hollywood Ending'' (2002) - A movie director suffers hysterical blindness while filming the movie that will restart his career.
* ''Anything Else'' (2003) - Creator/WoodyAllen serves as oracle to the love life of a young man. Notable in that it can easily be seen as a remake of ''Film/AnnieHall''.
* ''Melinda And Melinda'' (2004) - A group of screenwriters write two stories with the same premise to discover if life is tragic or comic.
* ''MatchPoint'' (2005) - A former professional tennis player is torn between his rich, high society wife and his lower class, sexually adventurous mistress. When his mistress gets pregnant and threatens to tell his wife, he resorts to drastic measures to keep his infidelity a secret. Set in and around London, rather than in New York.
* ''[=Scoop=]'' (2006) - A [[HotScoop journalist]], an illusionist and a ghost work together to uncover an [[AristocratsAreEvil aristocrat]] as a SerialKiller. Allen's second film in a row featuring ScarlettJohansson in London.
* ''Cassandra's Dream'' (2007) - Creator/WoodyAllen's return to DarkerAndEdgier works. An uncle convinces his two nephews to help him to get rid of an ex-partner who is testifying against him in court. Set in and around London, rather than New York. Also notable as one of his very few movies to have an original score.
* ''VickyCristinaBarcelona'' (2008) - Two American women spend their summer in Barcelona, switching their mentalities about love as the story progresses. Oscar winner: PenelopeCruz.
* ''Whatever Works'' (2009) - Creator/WoodyAllen returns to New York. Creator/LarryDavid becomes a LemonyNarrator (BreakingTheFourthWall several times) of his own life. He helps a [[TheDitz ditzy]] young SouthernBelle (Creator/EvanRachelWood) who ran away from her home. Eventually they marry. Then, her parents appear, looking for her.
* ''You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger'' (2010) - Allen returns to London. The plot involves different members of a family after the father divorces the mother. Cast includes NaomiWatts, Creator/AnthonyHopkins and AntonioBanderas.
* ''Film/MidnightInParis'' (2011) - [[CaptainObvious Set in Paris]], the film stars RachelMcAdams, Owen Wilson, Creator/AdrienBrody and [=supermodel=]/actress Carla Bruni (the wife of [[FrenchPoliticalSystem French President]] Nicolas Sarkozy). Allen's biggest critical hit in years, surpassing even the success of ''Vicky Cristina Barcelona''. Its also his best-performing film financially, taking in over $56 million at the US box office (his previous record was the $40 million-grossing ''Hannah and Her Sisters'').
* ''Film/ToRomeWithLove'' (2012) - An anthology film set in Rome, it stars JesseEisenberg, EllenPage, Alec Baldwin, PenelopeCruz, and Allen himself in his first acting role since ''Scoop''.
* ''Film/BlueJasmine'' (2013) - Woody's first New York film since ''Whatever Works'', it features LouisCK, Alec Baldwin, CateBlanchett (who won Best Actress) and Andrew "Dice" Clay.
* ''MagicInTheMoonlight'' (2014) - A romantic comedy set on the French Riviera in the 1920s, starring Creator/EmmaStone and Creator/ColinFirth.
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!!Tropes common to his work include:

* TheAntiNihilist: Several of Allen's protagonists are people who find reality to be miserable, full of suffering, and pretty much worthless. They generally seek to find something meaningful in their lives, try to escape from their reality, and/or simply try to enjoy their existence as best they can while they can. (''Annie Hall'', ''Stardust Memories'', and ''Midnight in Paris'')
* AuteurLicense: From his first film as director, ''Take the Money and Run''. His contracts stipulate that once he has agreed the basic story with the film company, he has complete creative control
* BigApplesauce: One of his trademarks, as the vast majority of his films take place in and around New York.
** Averted in recent years, with every film since ''Melinda and Melinda'' (save for ''Whatever Works'' and ''Blue Jasmine'') shot in Europe, more specifically London, Rome, Barcelona and Paris.
*** Some of his earlier films are also set in different locations. ''Film/TakeTheMoneyAndRun'' was shot in San Francisco, ''Film/LoveAndDeath'' takes place in Russia (but was shot in France) and ''Film/{{Sleeper}}'' in the future.
* BittersweetEnding: A number of his films end this way including [[spoiler: ''Film/AnnieHall'' and ''Broadway Danny Rose''. ''Film/ThePurpleRoseOfCairo'' is a subversion; the last minute of the movie heavily implies that the main character will have a better life from that moment on... with Creator/FredAstaire.]]
* CerebusSyndrome: Sort of, while he continued to make mostly comedies while dabbling in drama here and there, there was a point in time that fans wanted him to make more films like his "older, funnier" films.
* CreatorBacklash:
** Allen hates most of his films because they can never live up to the expectations he has while making them. He finds audiences' attachment to ''Film/AnnieHall'' and ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' irrational and perplexing.
** He has however said that he does have a fondness for ''Film/{{Zelig}}'', ''Stardust Memories'', ''MatchPoint'' and ''Film/ThePurpleRoseOfCairo''.
** Also famously agreed with the backlash against ''Film/CurseOfTheJadeScorpion''.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''CrimesAndMisdemeanors'', ''MatchPoint'' and most of his other dramas tend to embody pretty bleak worldviews.
** ''Film/DeconstructingHarry'' is an example of one of his comedies that's a bit edgier than his other work being one of the only Allen films were the characters curse with any frequency.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: All of his comedies have a masturbation joke. Always pro-masturbation, always delivered by Allen's character.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: A main theme in his life and work. A famous scene in ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' has him summarizing things that make his life worthwhile on tape.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: [[spoiler: ''Film/AnnieHall'', ''Play It Again Sam'', ''Anything Else'' and ''Crimes and Misdemeanors'']] all play this trope pretty straight.
* DirectedByCastMember
* DirtyOldMan: Most definitely. Precisely ''how'' dirty [[InternetBackdraft is a matter of some considerable debate]].
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: ''Film/ThePurpleRoseOfCairo'', ''Film/MatchPoint'', ''Film/CrimesAndMisdemeanors'' , ''Cassandra's Dream'' and ''Film/BlueJasmine''.]]
* GameShowAppearance: During the late 1960s Allen appeared on many GameShows, most notably as a Guest Panielist on many episodes of ''Series/WhatsMyLine'', and trying his best to get a bassett hound to "sing" on ''Series/IveGotASecret''.
** His film ''Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask)'' featured a parody called ''What's My Perversion?''.
* GoodAdulteryBadAdultery
* JewishAndNerdy: To the point that many Jewish nerdy stereotypes used in popular culture nowadays are directly referring to him.
* JewishMother: Woody's own mother was like this, but he also mocked this stereotype in the film ''Film/NewYorkStories''.
* KavorkaMan: Despite Woody not exactly looking like a sex symbol he has married quite often. In his films too he does manage to either get the girl or be in a relationship somehow.
* LemonyNarrator
* {{Letterbox}}: Allen famously insisted on ''Manhattan'' being presented this way on television and home video in the '80s, making him one of the first directors to do so.
* MainstreamObscurity: Woody Allen is a striking example of a world famous film director and comedian known by many people, yet his films are only watched by a cult audience of intellectuals. The general public usually knows only a few things about his work: it's usually a relation comedy set in New York City, starring himself as a nervous nerdish nebbish complaining about all kinds of stuff and making intellectual references and presumably visiting a shrink. His real life relationships get far more attention in the mainstream press.
* {{Mockumentary}}: ''Film/TakeTheMoneyAndRun'', ''Film/{{Zelig}}'', and ''Sweet And Lowdown'' are all presented as documentaries.
* MoneyDearBoy: Averted. Most of his films have really small budgets and his salary is relatively small. Also averted by big name stars that take pay cuts solely to work with him (allegedly the set fee for famous actors in his movies is five-thousand dollars per day of filming).
* NervousWreck: His standard character.
* UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity: A large chunk of his films take place in his city of birth, which Woody loves with a passion. His film ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' is an entire love letter to New York. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001) the Academy Awards made a special homage to all the movies taking place in New York City as a way to promote tourism to the city again. In a particular HeartwarmingMoment Woody Allen, who normally never goes to the Academy Awards, accepted the invitation to come to the show and introduce the montage homage.
* OldShame: Granted he dislikes many of his own films but he's particularly ashamed of ''Film/CurseOfTheJadeScorpion'' having singled it out as one of his worst films.
* RecycledSoundtrack: A feature of most of his films - after 1972's ''Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask)'', his next film to have an original score composed for it was 2007's ''Cassandra's Dream''.
* ReferenceOverdosed: His work makes several references to literature, art, jazz, philosophy, psychology, movies,...
* SceneryPorn: ''Manhattan'' and ''Film/MidnightInParis'' both start with montages showing off the cities they take place in.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: ''Film/HusbandsAndWives'' includes the line, "Her approbation was very significant to me."
* ShoutOut: Woody LOVES the films of Creator/IngmarBergman.
** Only written by Allen, but ''Play It Again Sam'' ends up being one long reference to ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: His films are stuck somewhere around the middle spot. There's a lot of cynicism going on but there almost always seems to be a twinge of morality, idealism, or hope, no matter how dark the film got.
** Woody Allen identifies himself as a pessimist and he generally feels that life is very hard and very short and most people live unlucky, unfulfilling lives and difficult relationships. He does feel that accepting this is important for people to be more compassionate and tolerant of each other's flaws and difficulties.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Many of his characters.
* SwissBankAccount: "If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a deposit in my name in a Swiss bank account."
* TomHanksSyndrome: Leveled at Woody Allen by fans and critics. Lampshaded in ''Stardust Memories''.
-->'''[[AuthorAvatar Sandy Bates]]:''' But shouldn't I stop making movies and do something that counts, like-like helping blind people or becoming a missionary or something?
-->'''[[ActingForTwo Martian]]:''' Let me tell you, you're not the missionary type. You'd never last. And incidentally, you're also not [[{{Franchise/Superman}} Superman]]; you're a comedian. You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: They'd ''have'' to be to keep up with all the references to classic and European cinema and philosophers. As ''[=Movieline=]'' columnist Joe [=Queenan=] put it in his [[http://movieline.com/1991/05/01/woody-allen-whine-women-and-song 1991 essay, "Whine, Women and Song"]],
--> '''Queenan''': "Woody Allen, whatever his failings, does not make movies for morons. Most directors do. Of course, most directors are morons."
** Then again, most of his jokes are funny to people who don't know the reference, because of the ''context''. When a character snipes, "She thought the Sabine women had it coming to them!", do you need to know who the Sabine women were to get the joke?
* WriteWhoYouKnow: Allen's work is very personal and will talk about both his relations and break-ups.
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