Comedy | Romance
Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson, Henry Cavill, Ed Begley Jr, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean, Christopher Evan Welch, John Gallagher Jr, Jessica Hecht, Carolyn McCormick, Olek Krupa
Middle-aged, bitter and grumpy Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David) surprisingly enters a fulfilling relationship with Melodie Saint Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood), a much younger and unsophisticated Southern girl.
After filming for four consecutive years in Europe, Woody Allen went back to New York, and kind of brought the 70s back too as "Whatever Works" is a slightly funny film that unfortunately lacks of new, fresh ideas.
The story to this is very simple, it is literally whatever works. and the relationship/romance between the old, brilliant Jewish and the young, stupid girl - the age gap is so huge he could be her grandfather - actually works and it's not embarrassing at all as we don't witness to anything inappropriate, not even a kiss. Even though it is predictable, the story still is quite enjoyable. But the ending is weird.
The problem with the film is that instead of looking forward, Allen took a step back and looked back to the 1970s, as the story has 1970s material written all over it. The same old religious rants, the same philosophizing, the same main character, Allen himself played by Larry David.
And instead of the charm of his old movies, "Whatever Works" can claim a bunch of stereotypes, from religious people - whether Jews or Christians - to people from the South.
But it's a comedy, so we should focus on something else. Is the film funny? Yes, a little. Only this time around instead of being the dialogue the main source of laughs, it is the weird situations the characters get themselves into.
As for the cast, I believe Larry David is better at improvising that playing someone else and doing that person's lines, in this case Allen's. Still he does a quite good job in the role and plays Allen in a very aggressive manner. Evan Rachel Wood does a good job and the evolution of the character is quite interesting to witness. But stealing the show are Patricia Clarkson and Ed Begley, respectively playing Wood's mother and father.