"Thoroughly Modern Musical"
What You Need To Know:
EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU is a new musical comedy from Woody Allen, With a great cast, this modern ode to love, marriage and swallowing engagement rings peppers its comedy with nostalgic songs from musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The narrator of the story is D. J., a precocious teenager living in New York with her mother, Steffi , and step-father, Bob. Her biological father is Joe, played by Woody Allen. Living in Paris, Joe remains a close friend of the new family. The extended family includes Holden, engaged to Skylar, conservative Scott, and young teens Lane and Laura. D. J. takes Dad to Paris to try and fix him up with a married woman, played by Julia Roberts. As the family members try to find and keep love, they each get a turn in the spotlight with a song.
This is Allen’s first musical and the attitude is very whimsical. Rather than creating new music, he borrows songs from yesteryear and places the songs in the context of modern romance. This movie shows a loving family, fatally marred by the fact that Allen does seduce a married woman and commits adultery. This movie has a romantic worldview and has little obscenity and no violence; but it does have implied sex and sexual talk
(Ro, LL, S, N, A, D, M) Romantic worldview; 5 obscenities & 5 profanities; no violence; adultery, implied fornication & sexual talk; upper male nudity & woman in negligee; alcohol use; smoking; and, lying & joke equating conservatism with brain damage
EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU is a new musical comedy from Woody Allen. With a superior cast including Alan Alda, Edward Norton, Goldie Hawn, Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, and Woody Allen himself, this modern ode to love, marriage and swallowing engagement rings peppers its comedy with nostalgic songs from musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
The narrator of the story is D. J. (Natasha Lyonne ), a precocious teenager living in New York with her mother, Steffi (played by Goldie Hawn), and step-father, Bob (played by Alan Alda). Her biological father is Joe (played by Woody Allen), who is a close friend of the new family although he lives primarily in Paris.
The movie opens on the streets of New York with Holden (played by Edward Norton) singing a song of love to his fiancee Skylar , (played by Drew Barrymore). (Skylar is the eldest child from Bob and Steffi .) As Holden serenades Skylar , bums, health care workers and elderly people chime in as back-up singers for comic effect. Holden wants his proposal to be just right, so he instructs a waiter to place the engagement ring on top of a dessert. Unfortunately, in her enthusiasm for eating, Skylar gobbles down the ring.
At the hospital, the ring is clearly seen in x-rays. Doctors, nurses and patients sing and dance. Meanwhile, Bob’s eldest son Scott, played by Lukas Haas, is spouting off conservative Republican ideals, giving the liberal Bob grief. Alda’s youngest teenage daughters, Lane (Gaby Hoffman) and Laura (Natalie Portman), also make the house alive with mutual adoration over a local boy. Punctuating this madness is Joe, who visits Bob and Steffi and tells them his love life is no good. D. J. overhears and encourages her father to go out with the beautiful and married, Von (Julia Roberts.) Through a hole in the wall, D. J. has heard Von tell a psychiatrist about all her troubles, including her marital unhappiness and the fact she will vacation in Paris. D. J. and Joe decide go to Paris to “accidentally” run into Von.
In Paris, Allen does meet Von, tells her lies and they end up in bed. Back home, Skylar is having second thoughts about her engagement when a sexually starved convict, Charles Ferry, (Tim Roth), visits their home and proposes sexual bliss to her. Bob and Holden are shocked at the thought of losing Holden. As in all musical comedies, a song and good fortune make everything all better.
Most people either hate or love Woody Allen movies, and his dialogue-heavy comical rantings are in full swing in this movie. This is his first musical, and the attitude is very whimsical. Rather than creating new music, he borrows songs from yesteryear and places them in the context of modern romance. Modern Americans may have a hard time accepting people spontaneously breaking into song, but Allen understands this and plays the songs for laughs. Indeed, it is hard not to laugh when bums and medical patients who are wrapped in bandages from head-to-toe start dancing.
Nevertheless, be wary of some content. Allen, in Paris, lies to seduce Roberts, although she finds him out and goes back to her husband. Also, Tim Roth seduces Drew Barrymore with sexual talk. On the other hand, Hawn and Allen, despite divorce, remain close friends, Allen is integrally involved in the lives of his children and the whole family seems to care for each other very much (which may be wishful thinking on Allen’s part).
Woody Allen has always played with the idea of relationships and sexual function and dysfunction. This movie isn’t his most explicit, but it does offer spicy, adult commentary. Many critics are calling this movie some of Allen’s best work. If Woody Allen has never before intrigued you, this movie will probably not entice you. Apparently, not everyone loves Woody Allen.