Anything Else


Woody Allen as David Dobel
Jason Biggs as Jerry Falk
Stockard Channing as Paula
Danny DeVito as Harvey
Jimmy Fallon as Bob Styles
Christina Ricci as Amanda
Diana Krall as herself
Carson Grant as Acting Teacher
Kenneth Edelson as Hotel clerk
Kadee Strickland as Brooke
Nicolas Perinsco as Bell Boy
Joseph Lyle Taylor as Bill
Eric Tonken as Bar Patron

Anything Else is latest social commentary on dysfunctional Manhattan relationships from the king of neurosis Woody Allen. The film has a chuckle here and there, but over all was never engaging enough to make me care.

Jason Biggs stars as Jerry Falk, an aspiring comedy writer in New York, who falls in love at first sight with a free-spirited young woman named Amanda (Ricci). Jerry has heard the phrase that love is like anything else, but he soon finds that being in love with the unpredictable Amanda isn’t like anything else at all.

Anything Else is rated R for a scene of drug use and some sexual references.

What Worked:
There are some funny scenes in Anything Else. Some of the dialogue between Biggs and Allen is sharp, especially during the afternoon sessions in Central Park. DeVito also is funny here – well ‘suited’ for the role (note – you’ll get that joke if you see the movie). Also, Biggs’ scenes with his ‘proactive’ shrink are good for a chuckle.

And for the Ricci lovers out there, there are plenty of shots of her running around in only panties and a t-shirt. I’m sure that’s reason enough for some to line up now.

What Didn’t Work:
Biggs is a proven physical comedic actor. He does it better than any other young, male talent out there – as he has proven in the American Pie trilogy. In Anything Else, he is asked to be Matthew Broderick… and it just feels wrong. His monologues to the camera smack of Ferris Bueller without the laughs. He never really seemed comfortable playing Jerry Falk, and that’s a shame.

That lends itself to the overall inherit problem with the movie. I didn’t care about any of these people – not hapless romantic Falk, not evil-in-cotton-panties Ricci, not drunk and coked-up Paula, not psychotic linguist Allen… none of them. Whether it was the material, miscasting or what, the whole film seems flat and highly unattractive.

I’ve never been a big fan of Woody Allen, and maybe I have found out why with this film filled with bitter people (Allen, Channing, Ricci) that in the end left a bad taste in my mouth.