Moving Pictures
Apr 16, 2009, 07:27AM

Larry David is the New... Diane Keaton?

Woody Allen and Larry David on their upcoming release Whatever Works, the most neurotically Jewish movie of all time.


So, a new Woody Allen movie starring Larry David filmed right here in New York City. Could there be a more deep-fried mix of talent, comedy and neuroses? For most of us, Woody Allen is as quintessential New York as the Chrysler Building. Many New Yorkers grew up with a vision of this city spun by Annie Hall and Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters; where the skyline always twinkles and romance lurks around every limestoned corner; where brainy, nervous men charm young and naïve beautiful women in grand prewar apartments lined with bookshelves; where there are country weekends with lobsters to chase and always—always—love to find and fail. And then there’s Larry David, another Brooklyn boy made good, co-creator and writer of Seinfeld, which defined New York all over again in the ’90s, with its exquisite, endless examinations and sweating of the small stuff—soup Nazis, being master of the domain, parking garages and puffy shirts. Since his 1999 HBO special Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the still-airing series that followed, he’s made performance masterpieces of excruciating situations. The news that he was to star in Mr. Allen’s latest had some rubbing their hands in anticipatory delight, others sharpening their knives, all anxious to see if Mr. David could pull off the ultimate as a Woody misanthropic paradigm. mp;nbsp;(This is harder than it might seem … remember the disastrous Jason Biggs turn in 2003’s Anything Else? Kenneth Branagh in Celebrity?) But we’ll go ahead and say it: Whatever Works is Woody Allen exactly as you want your Woody Allen to be. It’s witty, dark, poignant, zany and hilarious, and showcases a New York filtered through the Allen lens as we’ve never seen it before. Meaning, forget the Upper East Side! This film creeps through the crooked and narrow streets of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, knishes to hanging chickens. 


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