Another Allenesque character study, MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY focuses on a mid-life crisis in the Big Apple. The dialogue reveals Woody Allen at his best with delicious scenes and scripting between Allen’s character, Larry, and his wife, Carol (Diane Keaton). Larry and Carol’s verbal exchange explores beyond the obvious to discover the many complicated layers of humanity. Dangerous flirtations between Larry (Allen) and Marsha (Angelica Houston) and Carol (Keaton) and Ted (Alan Alda) are cooled by Larry and Carol’s declarations of commitment to their marriage. Despite their obvious desperation and desire for regained youth, Larry and Carol successfully spurn the advances of their would-be lovers. This is a moral triumph on the silver screen!
In the end, Allen’s otherwise fearful and at best careful character finds the hidden “hero within.” He bravely arises to the occasion as “rescuer” and regains his wife’s respect and love in the process. Allen’s artful use of a favorite old film clip, coupled with a room of mirrors and a “fact is stranger than fiction” dialogue climaxes with the demise of unlikely villains and a happy-ever-after ending New York style. MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY will rank among the Allen Hall of Fame with ANNIE HALL, RADIO DAYS, BROADWAY DANNY ROSE, and the PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO.
(LL) A few profanities & expressions like "Oh, G-d!" scattered throughout; no obscenities, but passing vulgar comment; no sexual scenes although supporting characters attempt to seduce main characters into extra marital affairs without success; no nudity; and, no graphic violence.