Details: (M), 96 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: Harry Block (Woody Allen) is writer who has spent the advance for his next book and is struggling to find the inspiration necessary to complete it. Harry will soon be recognised for his life's work and is anxious to find a companion to attend a ceremony. He resolves to win back the ex-girlfriend who is set to marry his best friend.
No other American filmmaker today could surely pack as much material into a mere 95 minutes.
Harry Block, (Woody Allen) has never grown up. A writer with three ex-wives and six ex-shrinks (one of them also an ex-wife). Harry's afflicted with writer's block – he's already spent the advance his publisher paid for his forthcoming book, but he's bereft of inspiration. He's flattered, and frightened, by an invitation to receive an award at a small upstate University, but he wants someone to come with him. Unfortunately, Fay (Elisabeth Shue), the latest of very many girlfriends, has picked this moment to decide to marry Harry's friend, Larry (Billy Crystal). And, as scenes from Harry's books unfold to illustrate the contrasts between his real and imagined lives, he's constantly assailed by women, women like Lucy (Judy Davis), his former sister-in-law and ex-wife Joan (Kirstie Alley).
Deconstructing Harry is perhaps Woody Allen's best film since Manhattan. It's a corrosively funny portrait of a spiritually bankrupt man who's behaved badly for most of his life and who is now awkwardly trying to come to terms with it. With references to Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal, Allen quite brilliantly conveys the intellect and chaos of his protagonist. The film's cleverly structured, wittily scripted and impeccably acted by a cast that also includes Robin Williams, Demi Moore and the excellent Hazelle Goodman, as a prostitute involved with Harry. Though the abrupt shifts between reality and fiction make for complex plotting, Allen's brilliance as a director ensures everything is crystal clear and no other American filmmaker today could surely pack as much material into a mere 95 minutes.
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