Deconstructing Harry

  • Film
  • Comedy
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Harry Block (Allen) is a priapic foul-mouthed author whose ex-wives and lovers, family and friends object to his philandering and unreliability, and his habit of using them, thinly disguised, as fodder for his work. He goes to receive a fellowship at his alma mater with his nine-year-old son, his best friend and a black hooker in tow, and you'd think—this being Woody's Wild Strawberries—that Harry will learn something. But will he? Thankfully, despite many similarities to Bergman's film, this is not one of Allen's arty efforts (though the jump cuts are tiresome). As it alternates events from Harry's life with their fictionalised versions, proceeding towards a meeting of art and reality, the film is mainly very funny—most memorably in a vignette with Robin Williams as an actor who literally lacks focus. The sour take on artistic endeavour makes a welcome change from Allen's earlier work (as, indeed, does the inclusion of a significant black character—albeit a whore). But whether the idea of a man able to live and love only through his art is original or deep is another matter entirely.

Release details

Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Cast: Woody Allen
Kirstie Alley
Bob Balaban
Richard Benjamin
Billy Crystal
Judy Davis
Hazelle Goodman
Mariel Hemingway
Amy Irving
Julie Kavner
Elisabeth Shue
Stanley Tucci
Robin Williams
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