Why Woody Doesn’t Work Anymore

“Back in the 1970s, a Woody Allen movie was the way you measured your humanity. Allen’s nebbish persona represented the thinking everyman, assuming you also valued intellectualism, high culture and complicated, brilliant women. The collective high point of the Allen gestalt was “Annie Hall,” Allen’s ode to love in all its messy, modern dysfunctionalism, and, two years later, “Manhattan,” his salute to the city of dreams, culture, love and Gershwin. But in the past few decades, as Allen’s casts became collective ensembles, as he started aping Chekhov, things changed. His movies got crowded with East Side untouchables.”