Woody Allen is Trash

Woody Allen. The very name elicits controversy. The director, actor, and comedian’s seventy year career has been decorated with numerous Oscars, love from Hollywood bigwigs, and heinous accusations. First came when he abandoned his girlfriend, Mia Farrow, for Farrow’s own adopted daughter Soon-Yi. Then accusations that he sexually abused his young daughter Dylan. Despite all of this, he somehow remains a beloved icon of Hollywood, with people like Alec Baldwin demanding people look past the accusations and “separate art from the artist.” That argument is used for every controversial person in the arts. In the case of Allen, however, his art isn’t much better than he is


I have truthfully tried to watch many of Allen’s movies in an unbiased way to see if I can separate art from the artist and I have yet to find one movie that I liked in his filmography. Take his biggest success and the movie that put him on the map as a director, Annie Hall. The film follows a neurotic comedian (played by Allen as well as directed and written by him) and his relationship with the beautiful Annie Hall (Dianne Keaton). I look back on positive reviews of this film and wonder what could possibly be so interesting about this movie. The main character, an obvious self insert of Allen, is utterly pathetic. The film is constantly barraged by his thoughts and feelings, narration is important in some films but it sounds like Allen just wants to hear himself talk. This sad sack and his annoying little voice and victim complex aren’t relatable or funny, he’s more like a slimy mix between Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. 


That’s the main problem with Woody Allen’s films, all of the male protagonists, are EXACTLY THE SAME. A sensitive and neurotic artist trying to understand some concept like love or nostalgia, boom, I just described 90% of Woody Allen’s main characters. It doesn’t help that so many are played by Allen himself. Once he got older though, he cast younger actors as his little self inserts. Seeing Timothee Chalamat, an attractive and talented actor, mope like the worst kind of sad sack in A Rainy Day in New York makes me want to rip my eyes and ears off. Sad sacks are fine when they’re well written. But am I really supposed to sympathize with some spoiled rich kid named Gatsby who’s moping about New York City (I kid you not that’s the plot of Rainy Day in New York).


I’m also unimpressed by his portrayal of women in his films. Unlikable female characters are fine but they’re populating all of his films in the most carbon copy ways. Rachel McAdams’ character in Midnight in Paris is portrayed as a shrew who can’t comprehend the main character’s (played by Owen Wilson with less charisma than sandpaper) genius. They’re also frequently cheating or they’re stupid and incapable of personality other than to listen to the man. Or, in the case of the girl in Manhattan, a teenager (Is anyone REALLY surprised by the allegations against him?)


I have not seen every Woody Allen movie so maybe one or two is good. But I haven’t seen anything of high quality in ANY of his movies. I don’t see this supposed genius that Alec Baldwin froths over, I see some little praise hungry creep who wants everyone to see how smart his little fanfictions about his own life are. I really hope that I won’t ever have to see his name plastered among comedic director legends like Mel Brooks and Harold Ramis.