Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
Genre: Musical comedy
Is there a genre of movie that Woody Allen hasn’t tried? Since I’m not his biggest fan, I can’t say for sure but he certainly has turned his hand to most of them by this time. “Everyone Says I Love You” is another one of those fortuitous Netflix recommendations that’s worked out for me.
Recently I decided to rent it again to see if it would work for a Friday Film Review and discovered that it’s no longer in print and can’t be rented. Major bummer. But once again it was Half.com to the rescue though I did wait a few months to see if the prices would come down a bit. When someone posted it for a more reasonable price, I pounced.
The story revolves around a wealthy New York family. Bob (Alan Alda) and Steffi (Goldie Hawn) have two daughters and a son between them while Steffi and her first husband Joe, have two daughters: Skylar (Drew Barrymore), DJ (Natasha Lyonne) who acts as the narrator, Lane (Gabby Hoffman), Laura (Natalie Portman) and Scott (Lukas Haas). Skylar is engaged to Holden (Edward Norton) and Joe has terrible luck with women.
DJ attempts to help her dad by telling him all about a beautiful woman, Von (Julia Roberts), who’s caught his eye while they are in Venice. Meanwhile back in New York hilarity and mayhem erupt as Skylar breaks off her engagement to Holden once she meets an ex-con, Charles Ferry (Tim Roth) whose cause has been championed by her socially conscious, rich mother Steffi.
There are a few other subplots such as DJ’s man of the week and Scott’s sudden turn towards conservative Republicanism but the main questions are: will Joe finally find the relationship of his dreams and who will Skylar end up with?
After watching the movie and beginning to look back on it, the plot seems to be mainly cobbled together as a framework to hang the songs on. Allen has picked some great ones – My Baby Just Cares for Me, Makin’ Whoopie, Everyone Says I Love You, I’m Through with Love, Enjoy Yourself, Cuddle Up a Little Closer and many more. The dance numbers are fun from the salesmen in Harry Winston’s to the medical staff and patients at the hospital Skylar and Holden have to go to after she accidentally swallows the engagement ring Holden put in her dessert.
The Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment is to die for as are the locations in Venice and Paris. It must be nice to have that kind of money. Sigh…Everyone looks lovely, dresses divinely and, amazingly, sings rather well. Well, maybe except for Woody Allen in one number you can barely hear him in and apparently Drew Barrymore who’s so tone deaf she had to be dubbed. There’s also a neat dance between Goldie Hawn and Woody Allen with Goldie on a wire harness that floats her around the stage.
Since it’s basically an all star cast and the secondary characters are only on screen very briefly, I can’t say much about them except that they seem to do a good job in their small parts. One thing I have to say is that I hope Woody Allen is now over casting himself as the love interest of beautiful women.
For anyone interested in the movie, I’d say try (if you can) to try it first before unloading any money on it. The DVD (from 1998) is just the basic nuts and bolts with no extras beyond subtitles. It’s funny, frothy and enjoyable – just what a musical should be.
FTC discloser – I bought this with my own money.