An older, cynical misanthrope finds an unlikely
romantic partner in a young, idealistic Southern girl.
Whatever Works (2009)
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
Starring Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson,
Ed Begley Jr., Henry Cavill, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean,
Olek Krupa, Adam Brooks, Lyle Kanouse
When you combine the legendary cynicism and misanthropy of Woody Allen and Larry David, you get a film like Whatever Works. It's a snapshot into the life of someone you would hate to be friends with; a man who considers himself so in tune with his own intelligence that he can't help but see the negative in everything. And somehow, the film is endearing and enjoyable, delivering heaps of negativity with just the right mix of hopeful optimism that keeps the audience from contemplating suicide.
Larry David plays Boris, an ex-professor who despises anybody dumber than he is and constantly harps about how the world is doomed and everybody's gonna die. He's not your average comedy hero, but because it's Larry David, it's fine. He's made a career out of playing the miserable a**hole, from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Without him, this movie would be a wash. His chemistry with Evan Rachel Wood is surprisingly decent, and their bizarre relationship seems valid. The way Boris influences her entire family into realizing who they really are on the inside is hilarious and oddly inspiring.
Whatever Works is a dark comedy that basically encourages you to live life on your terms because it'll all be over much sooner than you think. Find love, see a movie, do whatever you want because nothing really matters. The message isn't exactly what you'll find on a fortune cookie, but it's the results that matter. The film is a good watch for the performances, while the clunky dialogue could be better. Still, I enjoyed it, and that's what matters.