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Everyone Says I Love You

review by Zach B.

 

Rated R

Running Time: 101 Minutes

Studio: Disney

Starring Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Goldie Hawn, Natasha Lyonne, Tim Roth, Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, Gaby Hoffman, Edward Norton, Luke Haas

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

 

Retail Price: 29.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.85:1 Non Anamorphic Widescreen, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Captions, Chapter Search

 

Woody Allen doing a musical? Can it work? Surprisingly, yes. The film got mixed reviews by critics, and of course, it was released as a small movie, so probably not too many saw it, except Allen's core audience. I was a little skeptical myself, but I must say, Everyone Says I Love You is a very enjoyable movie, right from start to finish. The film is sort of a tribute to musicals of the past. The songs are pretty old-fashioned, and range from jumpy, happy tunes to slow ballads. Allen hired his main music man, Dick Hyman, to conduct the music and arrange it. But what makes this film even better is that all the actors (with the exception of Drew Barrymore, who insisted she did not sing, her voice was dubbed) sing the songs. That's right, and that's why this movie works. The people in the movie are supposed to be normal, having their own lives, and it makes it "true" when they sing what they feel, instead of having someone sing a lot better (though I must say, Goldie Hawn is a very good singer). So good part on Allen though. However, when the movie is a bit flawed. The intertwining plots are nice, however, I felt a few (such as Barrymore's romances) could have been elaborated on.

Everyone Says I Love You focuses on a group of upper class New Yorkers, and their struggles with falling in and out of live. Joe (Woody Allen) is a divorced man who resides in Paris, who can't stick in a single relationship. His ex-wife, Steffi (Goldie Hawn) and her new husband Bob (Alan Alda) are having troubles of their own. Bob is arguing with his son from a previous marriage about politics constantly, Steffi and Bob's daughter, Skylar, is having trouble choosing between two men, one a convict (Tim Roth) and the other successful and wealthy (Edward Norton) and their two teenage daughters, Lane and Laura (Hoffman and Portman) are arguing over the same guy. D.J. (Natasha Lyonne), Steffi and Joe's daughter, narrates this story, and it seems her plans constantly change too. Yet soon Joe spots a beautiful and married art expert in Paris, and it happens D.J. knows all about her, because her friend's mom is a shrink and treats her back in New York. Things go downhill from there.

Allen's direction is perfect, and the songs, while old, are very well done and catchy. The cast is also perfect and truly brings this musical to life. "Everyone Says I Love You" is what the movies are all about: to tell a very entertaining and enjoyable story which leaves you in a good mood.

 

Everyone Says I Love You is presented in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen. It is a shame it is not anamorphic, but to my surprise, the transfer holds up really well. There is some dirt and artifacts on screen, but there is not that much of it, which really surprised me. I know in many Disney transfers, especially the more recent ones, Disney does not do such a good job cleaning things up. Yet this movie was a bit older when this disc was released, and looks better than recent movie transfers, such as, say, The Insider. There could have been some more saturated colors now and then, and some images are softer than others (especially during the opening) but the detail is remarkable. Very nicely done, I still am a bit shocked.

 

The only audio on this disc is Dolby Digital Mono 2.0, which is not that bad. The sound is good, things are heard clearly, it's decent, but still good, considering it is only coming from two speakers. The music when the characters sing do not overpower them, you hear the lyrics, and the music playing perfectly in the background This is actually an improvement as well: the laserdisc only had one channel mono.

 

I know for a fact Woody Allen does not like extras, and all you'll find on this DVD are the usual Disney "recommendations", which I always find to be an annoyance (in addition to their more recent "forced trailers"). Still, there was a theatrical trailer to this movie (and it was nice, non-spoiler!) and rumor has it, Alan Alda actually recorded a commentary for this film. Sadly, none of those features are featured here. The movie does deserve something, but Allen doesn't care. Oh well...

 

 

It is a shame Allen does not like putting on extra stuff, because this film really deserves something. Shame on Disney too, for not putting on the trailer at least. If this is one of your favorite Allen films, there is no doubt you have gone out and purchased it. If you still have never seen this overlooked gem, it is an excellent rental, and you'll feel a little bad on how little known this film is. However, for a retail price of nearly thirty dollars, and with no extras, it's a little hard to recommend. Be warned though: You'll be singing the tunes featured in this film for weeks on end.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(0/5)

(2/5, NOT an average)

 

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