Cover of "Anything Else"

Cover of Anything Else

Re Anything Else (2003):

Apparently Woody Allen believes in themes, but don’t let that fool you.  Thematically this caustic, frequently funny, slightly absurdist movie goes almost nowhere.

Amiable Jerry (Jason Biggs), a comedy writer, falls for the unremittingly selfish Amanda (Christina Ricci) and is mentored by an atheistic crank acted by Allen himself.  I didn’t buy an iota of it.  In addition, there is a great deal of talk and much of it irritating, from Jerry’s fawning babbling to Amanda during their first encounter to Amanda’s remark about the “nihilistic pessimism” in the plays of Sartre and O’Neill.  Allen does not do slight absurdism well.  He’s too caught up in his own solipsism.