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Tricia's retro film review: Manhattan



Manhattan is the 1979 comedy film directed by Woody Allen. Isaac Davis is a man living in New York City who is dating a 17 year old girl named Tracy. He fears that he will be seen as a dirty old man, so he ends the relationship. Isaac then starts a relationship with Mary, a woman who had an affair with his friend, Yale. However, he wants to divorce his wife and marry Mary. The both of them try to talk him out of it. Throw in an ex-wife writing a tell-all book and his feelings for Tracy and Isaac has a lot of work cut out for him.

While it’s a funny movie, some viewers will cringe at the idea of Isaac dating a 17 year old. Especially in light of what happened to Woody Allen in real life. It’s completely understandable why Jill would divorce him, as he is so neurotic that people will wonder how he attracts women. Shooting in black and white is a good idea, as not only is it appropriate for an intimate comedy, it could be seen as an homage to the old black and white movies he loves so much. The writing is still sharp and funny. The viewer hopes that Tracy will not lose her optimism as she becomes an adult and goes out into the world. Even though Isaac is a schmuck, Mary was better off dating an unattached man, as Yale was not only cheating on his wife with her, he was willing to abandon his wife for her. While Tracy’s message of “you got to have a little faith in people” could be undercut by the preceding events. It is clear that Isaac is in desperate need of advice, although some viewers may be more tempted to whack him on the head and tell him to get over himself. It is still makes for a great bitter sweet ending though. George Gershwin’s music is perfect for the movie. Honolulu Woody Allen fans should watch this movie.

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