Bottom Line: What can I say? It’s another Allen classic.
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Craig Vandenburgh, Frank Renzulli, Herb Reynolds, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte, Paul Greco, Woody Allen
The formatting of this review comes partially from my increasing desire to write a letter to the director, alongside with an inspiration an inspiration from Mark Hobin, one of my favorite cinebloggers who penned his “Rock of Ages” review similarly about a month and a half ago.
July 26, 2012
Dear Mr. Woody Allen,
November 11, 2011. Some people strangely believe that due to a numerical repetition in the date, there is something that sets it apart from other days. I must speak on their behalf and confirm it true, as that day ended up becoming one of the most valuable days of my life. Granted, I didn’t know it at the time. It was the day I watched ANNIE HALL, perhaps your most acclaimed film to date. It was the first time I had watched one of your films, and let’s be honest here. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. I laughed very, very hard. I didn’t quite see the need, however, for all the awards it won. The fact that I enjoyed the film was what led to my seeking out more of your films, which, I discovered, were masterpieces. It took me a couple more films to make it a true statement that you are my absolute favorite filmmaker. (I’ll try not to mention how wonderful your writing is, because there is so much to say about that, and I wish not to waste your time.)
This letter is regarding BROADWAY DANNY ROSE. I’m aware the film was released an entire twenty-eight years ago, which must seem like forever to you, considering how prolific you are as a director, but you just can’t forget the unforgettable, can you? You know, I’ll freely admit that I’m only fourteen years old, and when I express my love for your work to others—particularly those who for whatever reason yield a lack of appreciation for your hysterically wry humor—I often am told that I’m your youngest fan. And I just don’t see why I should give a damn. Why? Your work (save for a few disappointments in recent years, such as SCOOP and TO ROME WITH LOVE) consistently reminds me just why I love film. BROADWAY DANNY ROSE is a beauty I must applaud you for, because it does this especially well. You take a subject like theater that a diehard film fan like me, quite frankly, does not care so much for; you use that to embody your main character, Danny Rose, who marks your best performances, by the way; and you take some risks with the production. My personal favorite film of yours is MANHATTAN, which appeared just five years prior to BROADWAY. When I see the word “Broadway” in a film’s title—or anywhere, for that matter—I think of flamboyant, colorful costumes flashing brightly in front of my face. Yet your presentation of a film that is quasi-Broadway-centric reprises the utter beauty of MANHATTAN: black-and-white.
Some of the most joyous thrills I get through watching your comedies are provided by the casts you assemble. They’re magnificent, Mr. Allen, and there is no doubt about it. I did love BROADWAY DANNY ROSE overall, but if you don’t mind me briefly criticizing you, I feel it is necessary that I mention my disappointment with your casting choices. I don’t mean to say that the actors and actresses fell flat. This isn’t TWILIGHT, a film that’s about as funny as your films, except without any intention of creating humor at all. I just mean to express that I felt it was a mixed bag. Your performance, of course, was magnificent. You saved your more recent SCOOP for me, and I find your characters to be the most entertaining, choke-and-die-laughing parts of every film I’ve seen from your career, if they so appear. Mia Farrow was also a standout, and I honestly believe that the Academy should feel shame for not nominating her at all that year. You seem to have your own “Bond girls”, except lasting for one decade rather than one film. In the 1970s, it was Diane Keaton. In the 1980s, it was Farrow herself. Currently, it seems to be Scarlett Johansson. I’m interested to find out who’s to come. The one performance I could not stand, looking from a negative standpoint now, was from Nick Apollo Forte. I feel that I would have loved his delivery as Lou Canova, had he not been so annoying. He seems more of a singer than an actor, so as an obsessive fan, I kindly advise you to refrain from casting performers like him in his films.
I’m sure you understand that even if it doesn’t come without those flaws, BROADWAY DANNY ROSE is brilliant and deep in the eyes of a cinephile. They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I guess with a film like this, I must be one of at least a thousand beholders.
Thank you for your time, and please continue to maintain an excellent career.
From your ever loyal fan,
Alexander “The Cinemaniac” Diminiano