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YMMV / Annie Hall

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  • Fountain of Memes: Alvy's quips about things like sex and Southern California have been quoted early and often.
  • Genius Bonus: Alvy's stand up routines in universe. This is Lampshaded by Annie, who—through reading books that Alvy buys for her—begins to understand more of the references he makes.
    • Alvy's joke about Dissent and Commentary merging to form Dysentery. Dissent is a famous Left-Liberal Jewish political magazine, and Commentary is a famous Conservative Jewish political magazine.
    • Most of the humor, in fact. It's funny simply using contextual clues: do you really need to know Henrik Ibsen's play Ghosts to get the joke about avoiding sex because of a raging headache?
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • When ranting about Who Shot JFK?, Alvy notes that he wouldn't put it past Lyndon Johnson to have been in on the conspiracy because politicians are so rotten, they're "one notch above child molester". Just try watching that scene nowadays without thinking of the allegations against Woody....
    • Same for the quote: "16 years old! Can you imagine the mathematical possibilities?"
    • And the flashback scene in which Alvy kisses his classmate without her consent and is scolded by his teacher for it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The party guest using the house phone to tell his guru he forgot his mantra is already supposed to be funny, outlining the pseudo-intellectual, culturally-appropriating nature of LA, but the fact that it's a then-unknown Jeff Goldblum and he's only in the entire movie for less than 5 seconds makes modern-day viewing that much more hilarious.
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    • Marshall McLuhan's thoughts on television and media ("the media itself is the message") and theories on the global village were derided as outdated by the time Annie Hall was released. With the arrival of The Internet, McLuhan has the last laugh.
    • When Alvy's going through his buttons calling for the impeachment of various presidents, Ronald Reagan is included among them; he had already served as governor of California (which is probably what the button is referring to), but hadn't been president yet.
    • "I have to go join the others now on planet Earth." This would become the typical response to pretty much any character played by Christopher Walken.
    • Annie telling Alvy to start smoking pot to "get off the couch," when recent studies have suggested that marijuana IS beneficial in the treatment of depression.
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  • It Was His Sled: The film's most famous gags are so well-known and often cited (like Marshall McLuhan's cameo), they're usually spoiled for first-time viewers.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
  • Retroactive Recognition: The film had a lot of aspiring young actors who would be future stars....
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: One of the reasons that its Best Picture Oscar seems so puzzling to younger viewers is because Annie Hall was amazingly influential on American comedy of the last several decades. In 1977 it was very bold and innovative in how it mined humor out of everyday neuroses and mixed irreverence and pathos. Not only that, it also employed devices like Breaking the Fourth Wall and Imagine Spots in ways that were funny and deepened the story. Those have all become so common now that it's hard to watch this film with fresh eyes (and ironically Seinfeld itself was one of the works that owed a lot to Annie Hall's sensibility).

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