Manhattan Murder Mystery (Woody Allen, 1993)
Diane Keaton (Carol Lipton), Woody Allen (Larry Lipton). Directed by Woody Allen. Screenplay by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman. Rating: PG. Running time: 104 minutes.
What a delightful comedy. I really can’t think of a Woody Allen film that’s made me laugh quite as much as Manhattan Murder Mystery. It appears on its surface to retell a story ancient in its structure: nosey neighbours spy on a husband that’s reacting suspiciously well to the death of his life-long wife. And this is indeed the path the film takes, though it feels far from old ground when Allen’s razor-sharp dialogue is splattered all over it. The originality is certified, for anyone who doubted it, when the film twists hilariously in a way I will not share for the sake of surprise. But it comes as the couple attempt to trick their neighbour into confessing to his crime, and committing a further one they can capture evidence of in the process. Allen’s typically anxious and twitchy character is forced into a calamitously silly situation, ensuring more laughs are had than are healthy in such a short period of time. There’s the usual undertones of marital tension ever-present in Woody’s movies, and sneaky homages to New York and film history as well. But Manhattan Murder Mystery, really, is all about the comedy. Just laugh, laugh and laugh again.
Filed under: comedy, crime | 1 Comment
Tags: blackmail, calamitous, diane keaton, double indemnity, manhattan, manhattan murder mystery, marital tension, murder, new york, rear window, twitchy, vertigo, woody allen