Friday, 5 August 2005

Everyone Says I Love You (1996) - ickleReview (DVD)

Woody Allen movie musical starring Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda, Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Tim Roth, and a young Natalie Portman. The plot is not as icky as most Broadway shows. Joe Berlin (Woody Allen) is still friendly with his ex-wife Steffi Dandrige (Hawn) and her husband Bob (Alda), a rich couple who live on Park Avenue with their four girls and a boy (a conservative Republican hawk, in contrast to the rest of the family who are liberal Democrats). Joe and Steffi's daughter, D. J. (Natasha Lyonne from American Pie) coaches Joe through a courtship with Von Sidell (Roberts). They know all her secret fantasies because the sisters' friend's mother is her shrink.

Holden Spence (Norton) is a friend of the family, engaged to Skylar Dandridge (Barrymore), who keeps swallowing her engagement ring because he puts it in her food, thinking it would be romantic when he gave it to her.

The songs are not all that frequent and aren't an inconvenient bore - as they can be in some musicals. The dance numbers are fantastic, full of energy and with a knowing, slightly understated campness that is a delight to watch. Particularly wonderful is the dance in the hospital corridor where an escaped mental patient flees his nurses in a strait jacket and porters bounce off the walls and skid along the floors.

Like any mid-late Allen movie, the plot is engrossing. It could be a film on its own without the music, but Allen blends the two parts together with real aplomb.

Nugget: a tremendous score with many of the numbers performed by the actors themselves, accompanied by the brilliant Dick Hyman and the New York Studio Players.

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