Friday, October 30, 2009

Looking for "Whatever Works"

(Larry David as Boris Yellnikof in "Whatever Works")

How auspicious a start for my new incentive than Woody Allen's 40th film "Whatever Works". In one of the most natural pairings, he teams up with Larry David who, like Allen, is a poster child of brilliant neuroticism. The film stars Davd as Boris Yellnikof; a intelligent, divorced, neurotic (a Woody Allen movie fixture) misanthrope who believes that his knowledge of the world and the universe leads him to be a genius. He's not that far off actually; he knows that he is in a film and addresses the audience very forwardly. There are even failed attempts to convince the other characters in the movie that they are in a movie, but nothing doing. So to him we are all "inchworms".

However, his stagnant life comes to a halt when he meets Melodie St. Ann Celestine (that's a mouthful) played by Evan Rachel Wood. She had arrived from the South to get away from her overbearing family. For Boris, this will not do. Melodie is the complete opposite of him. She's a bright-eyed, sweet and endearingly earnest well-to-do girl. After some minutes of convincing, Boris lets Melodie stay in his apartment for a while. In doing so, she begins to hang out with Boris and learn what makes him tick. He never changes but she starts to absorb his many smart but cynical views on the world and humanity. This routine extends to well over a year and when Melodie's parents start showing up looking for her... well, like I'm gonna tell you everything, inchworm!

Anyway, what made this movie so perfect for me to start with this new incentive I have is the fact that it embraces the small joys in existence. As much as Boris doesn't want to admit it, this very odd episode impacts his life in a positive way. This outside influx of Melodie and her family doesn't really change him at the end of the movie, but that doesn't matter. Change happens all around us and even the forces of genius can't stop that. However, as Boris says we look for "whatever works" to make life livable. So even though I'll be looking for a new job and bringing my life back to a steady routine, I don't want my blog to be a casualty again. I love doing this and I can't wait to do more in whichever manner I please. I think Boris would like that. Perhaps there is more at work here like he said...


The movie's theme: Groucho Marx's "Hello, I Must Be Going" from Animal Crackers (1930)

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