"And now look. This is what happens to us."
An idea for a short story about, um, people in Manhattan who are constantly creating these real, unnecessary, neurotic problems for themselves cos it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about... the universe.
One of the best known movies by Woody Allen
, universally loved by the audience and famously loathed by the author himself. In many respects it resembles Annie Hall
: not only because a female protagonist is played in both films by Diane Keaton but also because it shows that the most important problems associated with relationships simply cannot be solved once and for ever - all this in a typical Allenian sweet-and-sour, self-ironic mood. However, in Manhattan
the distinction between primary and secondary characters is much more fluent, so the movie is more about the particular situations than persons. One of the important subjects is maturity and its relation to the conflict between emotions and reason, but, as this is a Woody Allen
movie, it is mainly about love, human imperfection and the difficulties which stem from them.
The plot revolves around a couple of intellectual, semi-bohemian friends living in Manhattan, every one of whom has his own problems, intertwining with those of the others. Isaac (Ike) is a neurotic, self-ironic
, impulsive, middle-aged aspiring writer, whose wife Jill, the mother of his son Willie, divorced him after discovering that she's in fact a lesbian
and now is writing an autobiographical novel about their former relationship. Tracy, his 17-years-old lover, has to deal with her growing love towards Ike and the age difference between her and the majority of Ike's friends. Yale, Ike's friend, dreams of becoming a writer, even though his wife Emily strongly suggests that it's time to settle down and have kids; his life changes even more when he meets Mary, an extroverted, erudite journalist. Mary quickly becomes infatuated, but it is hard for her to say whether the object of her feelings is Ike or Yale. There is also Jeremiah, Mary's ex-husband, and Jill's new partner Connie. First, Hilarity Ensues
, then, as usual in Allen's works, things become more complicated.
Not to be confused with the 2014 television series Manhattan
- Big Apple Sauce: See the title. The opening monologue - set to Rhapsody in Blue and synced with a montage of New York City at its most beautiful - is routinely quoted by anyone in love with the place.
Issac: Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat. Oh, I love this. New York was his town, and it always would be.
- Broken Bird: Subverted, as Tracy gets dumped by Ike, but gets over it, presumably becoming stronger and more mature.
- The Cameo: Wallace Shawn is Mary's ex-boyfriend. She spent all film hyping his intelligence and sexual prowess, and Ike is astonished to meet what he calls "a humunculous".
- The City: As the title shows.
- Creator Backlash: Allen disliked the film so much that he offered to make another one for the studio for free if they don't release this one.
- Scenery Porn: In spite of the black'n'white vision. The title says it all.
- The Three Faces of Eve: Very fitting to the Freudian Trio pattern: with Tracy as a child (or the Ego, in the process of development), Emily as a wife (or the Superego, exhorting to emotional maturity), and Mary as a seductress (or the wild Id).