Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Hannah and her Sisters"

Usually I like my movies to have a story, to have a plot line, to be *about* something, but "Hannah and her Sisters" is an exception to this general rule. I first saw this film in the theater after if came out 23 years ago. I liked it then, and I like it even more after watching it a second time the other day.

This is Woody Allen at his best. It depicts the ebb and flow of life in an extended family over a period of time between two Thanksgivings. The acclaim Woody has received for writing and directing women so well is exemplified in a great scene in which the three sisters have lunch at a restaurant and talk about their lives.

But the scene I want to highlight is when the two unmarried sisters meet an architect at their first catering job, and he offers to take them home. The dialogue in the car while the three of them are trying to figure out who should be dropped off first is priceless. But then later, one sister tells the other she has been asked out by the architect, and would it bother her sister if she accepted. The other sister says "I'm seeing him." This one three-word sentence, which is not followed up on (because it says it all), illustrates so well how many women tend to live in their imaginations rather than in the real world. The sister had had one date with the architect, and translates that to "I'm seeing him"!

This is reminiscent of the line "He's just not that into you", which became a bestselling book, and now a movie (which I will see in a few days via Netflix). the point being made by this line (and by the authors of the book, who I've seen interviewed), is that if a man really wants to call a woman, he will make time to do this. The idea that "I've been busy" is a legitimate reason for not calling is just plain horseshit. Rather than having a fear of commitment, or being too busy, maybe the man "just isn't that into you". Anyway, Woody captures this sentiment so well with one three-word line.

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