Whatever Works (Woody Allen) - 2009

This is a Woody Allen movie with Larry David ("Boris") playing Woody's part.  Boris is a physicist and full-time curmudgeon who was once "almost nominated for a Nobel prize" but now makes his living (in New York City) teaching chess to children.  Larry/Boris spends much of his time talking to the audience (that only he can see) about life, love, death, religion and the human condition.  He has a chance encounter with a homeless beauty queen (Evan Rachel Wood - "Melody") from Mississippi who inexplicably falls in love with him.  Eventually, Melody's separated parents arrive separately disapproving of her new lifestyle and then undergoing the types of transformations that can only occur in Woody's New York.  The central theme of the movie is: life is transitory and you should grab love wherever you can find it - a philosophy that has worked so well in Woody's life.  This is a very rich serving of the Woody Allen wit and wisdom lacking only his voice in the dialogs.  If this is not your cup of tea, you can always go to the theater next door and catch the riveting conversations between Shia LeBeouf and Optimus Prime. [JAM 7/5/2009]