Like Harold and Maude, the AFI keeps coming up with new lists to put Annie Hall on. I won't list all of them this time, though, because there's just one that I want to focus on. Annie Hall is number 55 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list. The quote? "La-dee-da, la-dee-da." Really, AFI? That's the 55th best movie quote of all time? Think of movies you quote with your friends. You don't have to explain your reference when you let loose with a "Yippie ki-yay, motherfucker." Most nerds (and even non-nerds) will know where you're coming from if you say "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try." Isn't the hallmark of a really great line that you can't hear it without thinking of the movie it came from? Do you really think that when people hear the words "La-dee-da" they think of Annie Hall? I mean, it's not even that pivotal of a line in the movie.
But that isn't the movie's fault, I suppose, and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Woody Allen plays Alvy Singer, a successful, but neurotic, comedian. Diane Keaton is Annie Hall, an aspiring singer who Alvy meets through a mutual friend. The rest of the movie follows the course of their relationship, as they grow closer, discover each others interests and quirks, and ultimately part ways. In the story sense, it's not especially original, right? That's the same basic plot of a couple of other movies I've watched so far. What makes this movie a success is in the way it breaks conventions. In an animated sequence, Alvy imagines himself and Annie as characters in Snow White, with her as the evil queen. In a scene where Annie is acting detached in bed, her mind gets up and walks across the room while her body remains in bed with Alvy. And in perhaps the most famous scene of the movie, Alvy directly addresses the audience to complain about an obnoxious man in line behind him.
In an interesting reversal of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl paradigm, it's actually Alvy who gives Annie increased confidence and the ability to pursue her dreams. In a complete confirmation of the MPDG paradigm, she breezes into his life, stirs things up, and then leaves again.
The other thing this movie is famous for is the influence that Annie's outfits had on women's fashions in the late '70s. This made me wonder - just how cute would Ava look in a little vest and tie? Until I can assemble that wardrobe for her, let this picture be your answer to that question.
RATING - This one gets four Keaton/Allen caricatures out of five. I'd give it five out of five, but I'm deducting a point because it beat Star Wars for Best Picture at the 1977 Academy Awards.
LESSON - I actually thought of a really good one, and then Blogger ate my entry, and I had to retype it and forgot what the lesson was. So the lesson is this - look at the picture above. My daughter is cute as hell. Learn that lesson, people.