Play It Again, Sam (1972)

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972)
Article 3852 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-20-2012
Posting Date: 3-1-2012
Directed by Herbert Ross
Featuring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
Country: USA
What it is: Comedy

A neurotic, devastated by his recent divorce, tries to recover by with the help of his best friend and the ghost of Humphrey Bogart. However, he soon discovers that the woman he really loves is his best friend’s wife.

In some ways, I find the fantastic content pretty iffy in this movie; I don’t think it’s really the ghost of Humphrey Bogart that appears, but rather the main character’s projection of Bogart’s image. That being said, this is a fairly solid Woody Allen movie, not directed by him, but starring and having been written by him. I saw it many years ago when I was young, but I couldn’t appreciate it then; nowadays, it works a lot better for me because I can understand the appeal of his neurotic obsessions. Jerry Lacy does a nifty impersonation of Bogart, and Diane Keaton is quite appealing as the object of Allan’s affections (and I just realized when writing this that it was a handy for Allen to be playing a character named Allan, because I didn’t have to worry about the spelling). It’s not my favorite of Allen’s pre-ANNIE HALL movies (that would be LOVE AND DEATH), but it’s very good, and somewhat more focused than some of his more slapstick-oriented movies.

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