Film / Broadway Danny Rose

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A 1984 Comedy Drama written and directed by Woody Allen, starring him and his then-girlfriend Mia Farrow. The title character is a well-meaning New York City talent agent whose efforts to fix a past-his-prime singer's personal life unwittingly anger two mobsters.

Notable for being Nick Apollo Forte's acting debut (and, to date, sole performance) in a feature film. Also includes appearances by Milton Berle, Will Jordan, Jack Rollins, and many others as themselves.

This film provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: One of the reasons Lou is stuck in mediocrity, despite being a great singer.
  • The Beard: Tina pretends to date Danny in order to attend Lou's big performance discreetly.
  • Bookends: At the end, Danny catches up with Tina in front of the Carnegie Deli - where the Framing Device is set.
  • Catch Phrase: Danny's advice to his acts: "Strong - Smile - Star!"
  • Chained Heat: After being abducted by the vengeful Rispoli brothers, Danny and Tina end up tied together on top of a table. The captives must work to get themselves in an upright position and finally loosen the ropes. Of course, their effort to escape involves their bodies rubbing vigorously and repeatedly against each other.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Tina eventually warms to Danny being a Nice Guy and his Undying Loyalty to Lou. It doesn't stop her from convincing Lou to leave Danny for a better agent.
  • Deliberately Monochrome
  • Driven to Suicide: Tina's ex-boyfriend Johnny drinks iodine because she is dating someone new. His mafia mother isn't amused.
  • End of an Era: The Borscht Belt comedians discuss how hard it is to get work anymore. In The '80s, the Catskills were no longer the go to resort for Jews.
  • Famed In-Story: Danny is a legend, but not for the reasons you'd expect.
  • Former Child Star: Lou, was famous as a child star in The '50s.
  • Framing Device: The entire film is a series of stories being told by Borscht Belt comedians of Danny.
  • Giftedly Bad: Most of Danny's acts, such as balloon folders and wine glass xylophone players.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: The reason Lou is already paying two alimonies when the film starts.
  • Guilt Complex: Danny has a major one, for everything. Tina has absolutely none. She develops one over screwing over Danny by directly helping Lou defect to a better agent.
  • Helium Speech: When Danny and Tina try to escape from the mobsters, they get chased into a warehouse that has the displays for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. A mobster shoots one of the balloon displays, causing helium to dome out of it, and causing Danny, Tina, and the mobster to talk like this.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: The Danny Rose Formula, which includes two aspirins, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, goat cheese, and chicken fat. No one knows how it works, but it's an instant cure.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    Danny: I don't wanna badmouth the kid, but he's a horrible, dishonest, immoral louse. And I say that With All Due Respect.
  • Leitmotif: The score is an instrumental version of Lou's signature song "Agita".
  • Loser Protagonist: Danny, though he does win Tina.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Acceptance, forgiveness, love".
  • Meaningful Name: In-universe. The Mafia think that Danny is the one who has been sending white roses to Tina, because of his name, Danny Rose. They start calling him "Danny White Roses" as a result.
  • Mood Whiplash: Danny going to the hospital bed of an innocent man he got brutally injured by mobsters. Lampshaded by the Framing Device.
    Morty Gunty: I thought this was a funny story! It's terrible!
    Sandy Baron: So? What do you want me to do? It's not my life.
  • Motor Mouth: How Danny tries to get out of trouble.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After betraying Danny by encouraging Lou to sign up with a more influential agent and abandon Danny after everything Danny has done for him, Tina soon comes to regret her decision.
  • Nice Guy: Danny, which is also his Fatal Flaw.
  • One-Hit Wonder: In-Universe. Lou only had one original song, "Agita", a novelty song about eating. It's also Forte's sole hit song.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Danny. "May I interject one statement at this juncture? And I don't mean to be didactic or facetious in any way..."
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Danny is all the way on the side of idealism, while Tina is all the way on the other end in Cynicism. Danny convinces Tina that idealism isn't all that bad. However, Danny is doomed to handling third rate acts because he tries to help all of his clients instead of focusing on the most talented one, so Tina does have a point.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tina's ex-boyfriend Johnny - who also happens to be the son of a mafia boss. His thinking Danny Rose is Tina's new beau sets the Mafia after him.
  • Undying Loyalty: Danny's biggest fault. He gives all of his clients, no matter how dreadful they are, equal time, so when a truly talented client hits it big, they leave because Danny won't focus on their career.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Lou, who abandons Danny for a more prestigious talent agent on the verge of a major comeback, after Danny has given everything to get Lou back into the spotlight.
    • All of Danny's successful clients. In their defense, Danny tries to help all of his clients, even the Giftedly Bad ones. It's strongly implied if Danny would focus on his most successful clients, they wouldn't leave him.
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