Truth be told, I always knew 'Annie Hall' to be one of the most famous rom-coms of all time. However, I never realized that it seems to have reached such legendary status as a film, let alone a romantic comedy film. The list of this thing's accolades is extensive. But even if we ignore the Oscars or any other awards, it's widely seen as Woody Allen's (possibly) best film, holds a Rotten Tomato average of a whopping 94.5%, and happens to be one of the first fourth-wall-breaking movies.
In taking a look at that fourth wall that 'Deadpool' has since perfected, this is only really predated by various whacky comedies that include skits from 'Monty Python' and 'Laurel & Hardy' and a 1918 silent film called 'Men Who Have Made Love to Me'. It could be said that before 'Deadpool', this was the big 4th Wall movie (if not 'Ferris Bueller', which 'Deadpool' delightfully parodies... but enough about 'Deadpool', already). Another fun fact is the idea that the role of Annie Hall was actually written specifically for Diane Keaton. That alone seems like it gives a certain authenticity to things.
As far as plot goes, it's really quite simple. Annie Hall (Keaton) ended a relationship with Comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) a year ago, and Alvy spends the film trying to wrap his head around why. The story is generally told in a (once again) fourth-wall-breaking flashback of their relationship, and in many, many ways reminds me of '500 Days of Summer'. I suppose I could say this is the '500 Days' of its time. The thing is, however, there's nothing about this that feels "old" or "outdated", and I'd say '500 Days' owes a lot to it. That said, I do love both in their own ways, and would recommend both for different reasons. However, 'Annie Hall' might be the one a touch more relatable on a personal level.
Part of what makes this film so good is Allen's honest performance as a somewhat nervous wreck of a man. The question is constantly "why did this happen?" when we see, almost from the get-go, exactly what the problem is. It's a good example of a movie that might make someone asking the same questions take a good look at themselves. I mean, I can admit to being "that guy" in the past, so this ended up being pretty relatable. There was a lot here that made me laugh off some of my past insecurities, and ultimately, it was sort of healing. Maybe that sounds weird, but maybe it's another thing that makes this movie so legendarily good - it can serve as a personal eye-opener.
'Annie Hall' takes on everything that sucks about breaking up with someone, and everything leading to the breakup, giving it a great comedic edge. The thing is, there's no real side to choose from here. There's something ultimately realistic about this in that the main protagonist just so happens to be the problem. Allen's role here reflects that perspective of considering yourself to be the star in your own movie that is your life, but not taking into account the others around you who are starring in their own movie. Maybe that's a little deep for what this really is, but it was kind of my takeaway from things here; the idea that maybe the relationship fell apart because of you.
Again though, the film doesn't send its message in such a harsh manner. Instead of making it almost insulting, it acts as more of a reflective story, and I'd recommend it pretty highly to people even today. You could do this and '500 Days' back to back, and it would make for a really solid night of good break-up movies. I know how bad that might sound, but sometimes, us perpetually single guys need a good movie like this to remind us of how things really are as opposed to how we really want them. I think I'll be adding this one to my list of things to watch upon heartbreak. It speaks truth, but it's also pretty hilarious, and being that this is my first viewing of it, I might say timeless as well.