You won't. I hope you enjoy my first post.
What are the chances of a young, small-town, beauty pageant winner from Mississippi of meeting and connecting with an old, misanthropic, self-proclaimed genius living in Manhattan? According to Woody Allen’s film, Whatever Works (2009), astronomically incomprehensible and yet, uncannily realistic.
Boris Yellnikoff (a perfect match for an often yelling Larry David) announces himself as a brilliant former physicist, once considered for the Nobel Prize for his work with quantum mechanics. He didn't get it because it is “all political”, he says. He preaches to his neighbourhood friends about the randomness of life, the meaninglessness of religion and makes his loss of hope in the entire human species known to everyone.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine is a young Mississippi runaway (Evan Rachel Wood is the embodiment of naiveté) that finds herself on Boris’s doorstep in Manhattan, with nothing to eat and nowhere to go. She has a simple mind and fairy-tale dreams.
Without much surprise, the plot sees her gradually make her way into Boris’s hypochondriac and self-secluded world. As a result, they both change. Things are funnily complicated by the arrival of Melodie’s mother - Marietta (a wonderful Particia Clarkson), her exposure to the Big Apple and the world of avant-garde art and also later on, by Melodie’s father, who had strayed on the path of sin and now returned to the light. Marietta sees Boris as a mistake and does her best to correct it with the help of a dashing Randy Lee James (Henry Cavill – a minor role for a man we are used to see ruling England as Henry VIII).
One of the main pleasures of this story is watching Larry David rant about politics, education, religion and other assorted subjects. His naturally occurring discontent at most things as well as his opening monologue, briefly addressing the cinema goers in a direct way, are especially appealing given his lack of formal training as an actor.
The film unfolds itself as a list of revelations for each of the characters. They all learn something about themselves. They all grow a little. And they all find the love that had been missing from their lives. The parable’s lesson, therefore, is to be content with whatever works for you, a very pragmatic and reassuring idea, also confirming misanthropy always stems from a well of kindness.
Would I see it again?
Already did within 2 months of the first viewing.