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"Whatever Works" *** (out of four): In this return to Manhattan - and to his old tricks - Woody Allen finds a perfect representative in Larry David.

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There's a scene at the end of Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" in which Woody's character (a hypochondriacal nebbish, natch) finds a modicum of solace in a Marx Brothers movie. Over the course of that 1986 gem, his character has had a cancer scare, attempted suicide and contemplated the meaninglessness of existence. But for that brief moment, as Groucho plays the heads of tin-plated soldiers like a xylophone, he forgets about it and laughs. He's entertained. "Whatever Works", the writer-director's most serious comedy since 1997's brilliantly black "Deconstructing Harry", feels like an attempt to craft a film out of that simple principle: whatever makes you happy, no matter how ridiculous, is fine; whatever works.

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1 Comment

On the one hand, I gave up on Woody Allen a long time ago. Boring, pretentious, unfunny, jerk. On the other hand, the guy stays busy. I hope when I'm that old I got that much energy.

said E on June 18, 2009 2:00 PM.
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