Allen's neurosis is not to everyone's taste, but this movie - based on his own stage play about a film critic with seduction problems who takes Bogart as a role model - shows him at his best, exploring the gap between movie escapism and reality. It's not really as pretentious as that, and anyway, in contrasting his chaotic life with the Bogart image, Allen forgets the contrast between his chaos and our prosaic lives. No doubt someone somewhere takes Woody as his mentor and fails to be funny, just as Woody here stumbles after Bogey's cool. Still, the working out of the parallels with Casablanca are masterly, and there are plenty of good sight gags and one-liners. Much better than Allen's previous self-directed effort, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex.
Play It Again, Sam
Cast and crew