Whatever Works

Thursday, June 11, 2009
By Abbey Khan
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He’s grouchy, he’s insulting, he’s cynical, he’s Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David). This self-proclaimed genius who almost won the Nobel Prize for Quantum Mechanics gets hitched to Melody St. Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood), a ditzy runaway teen from Mississippi. Although an unlikely match, Melody shows Boris the brighter side of life while he tries to make her smarter by forcing her to listen to classical music and shares his absurd theories about life with her. Everything is going well until Melody’s mom, Marietta (Patricia Clarkson) moves to New York after her own failed marriage and plots to break up her daughter’s marriage. In the end, their lives take unexpected turns and they all learn that love is about whatever works for them.

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Here’s a little fact, Larry David was not Woody Allen’s first choice to play Boris. The role was written for Zero Mostel, but the script was put aside after his passing. When Allen decided to revive the script, he knew he had to find someone just as good as Mostel. “I was thinking of who could play this, who has enough humor and size as a character, and I thought Larry would be fun,” says Allen. “I’m a fan of his and he’s been in two movies of mine before (Radio Days and New York Stories), albeit in tiny parts.”

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Recommendation: Even if you’re not a Woody Allen fan, you’ll enjoy watching Whatever Works. Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood are perfectly cast and deliver in every scene, making you laugh throughout the entire movie. There are a lot of absurd yet comical lines and theories that you’ll want to share with your friends. My favorite is “God is a decorator.” Look out for this line and what leads up to it– its damn funny!

Whatever Works is written and directed by Woody Allen and is a Sony Pictures Classics release. The film opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on June 19, 2009.


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