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Tepid adult comedy is no Allen masterpiece.
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Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: Whatever Works, like its lead character, takes a long while to draw us in, but once it does it is enjoyable, thoughtful and decidedly Woody.
- Giles Hardie, Unknown2, Thursday, June 24, 2010
I have to see it again, but I say that for Woody Allen and Larry David, this is B+ because it's solid but exactly what you'd expect, no avant garde surprises. Definitely funny and well worth watching. Imagine Allen directs David in a post post-modern spin of Manhattan. It's 92 minutes well spent.
- Stinger839, Tuesday, November 2, 2010
"I don't have anywhere to go. And if you throw me out and I wind up an Asian prostitute, that's gonna be on your conscience." Whatever Works may be a clunker, but it's a charming clunker. I expected a pairing between Woody Allen and Larry David to be an absolute home-run, especially with people like Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson, and Ed Begley, Jr. joining in on the fun. It didn't live up to that expectation. What I got instead was a somewhat enjoyable movie where Woody went a little overboard with pushing his typical themes with the bluntness of a brick. The main character Boris is a typical Allen creation, but pushed to the very extreme. He's like Larry David's character from Curb, except stripped of any likable characteristics. His relationship with Melody (Evan Rachel Wood in a great performance) just seems flat-out preposterous because of his personality. Wood, on the other hand, is one of the few likable characters in the movie. Her charming southern belle is a nice counterpoint to the boorishness of Boris, but her off-the-wall accent and exaggerated personality will get quite a few chuckles from anyone who has actually lived in Mississippi. So yeah, I didn't hate this. I just don't know who I would recommend it to. The story never goes much further than Melody showing up and shaking up Boris's life, and then her parents arriving and doing the same for both of them. Whatever Works is an odd movie that tries to portray a message, but muddles and fumbles with it from beginning to end. A good performance from Wood was really the main thing that keeps me from putting this near the bottom of the Woody Allen movies that I've seen.
- lewiskendell, Saturday, August 21, 2010
Maybe Larry David is not the perfect choice for the part of Woody Allen's alter-ego, but this film's script, written in the 1970s, is like a refreshing return to the first half of Allen's career and to his New York after movies in London and Spain. Not perfect, but immensely funny and delightful.
- blacksheepboy, Wednesday, June 23, 2010