Kids in the Midwest must decide at an early age whether they are New York people or L.A. people. This decision is not based on any actual experience but rather a combination of nebulous feelings about the two places and the notion that being either a Rockford person or Toledo person just will not do. Of course, as these kids enter adulthood, chances are they will never live either of those places, and may never even visit. Still, we think that a small part of every Midwesterner has a soft spot for one or the other. For us at deadman/party, Woody Allen’s one-two punch of Annie Hall and Manhattan sealed the deal. We were New York sympathizers. In our minds, L.A. was the kind of place where stupid, vapid people went to have stupid meetings about making stupid movies. New York on the other hand was a land where you could just have drinks with Alan Alda and Michael Caine, stumble into a Marx Brothers movie, and go home with a girl way too young and hot for you, Gershwin playing all the while.
On the negative side, we have two problems with Mr. Allen. First off, he has made some pretty crummy movies. However, in a world where Dane Cook sells out arenas and Epic Movie passes for a blockbuster Hollywood comedy, it seems like a waste of breath to get too upset about a little stinker like Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we are more than a little creeped out by Mr. Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi. He is 34 years older than her. None of us at deadman/party are even 34 years old. If you told us that our future wives would be born seven years from now, we would be incredulous. Oh yeah, and Soon-Yi was kinda/sorta Mr. Allen’s stepdaughter. Yikes. Anyway, at least it wasn’t his adolescent cousin or a sheep and it is not like he is particularly secretive about his sexual proclivities (what was Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan, about 12?). Mr. Allen has made some of the greatest movies of all-time, he wails on Dixieland clarinet, and he has completely destroyed any compulsion we have ever had to go to L.A. He gets a beer.