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“Annie Hall” by Woody Allen Essay


Annie Hall is one of the most popular comedy films in Hollywood. Its popularity not only transcends from its themes but also from prestigious awards that the film has scooped from the industry. It is one of the comic films that won four major awards in Hollywood. Woody Allen used the film to highlight the issues that surround love and romance in the contemporary society.

As described by the star, Annie Hall is a romantic comedy that reveals the issues, which affect intimate relationships between individuals of the opposite sex. The star of the film exhibits theme elements when he falls in love with Diane Keaton, who acts as the female costar in the film (Eagan 90). Based on this information, this study therefore seeks to analyze the contents of the film, theme, and effects of music in the film.

Themes and Content

One of the key themes in the film is a necessity and absurdity that are associated with love. Alvy manages to conquer Annie’s love and reveal how love can be ridiculous and fleeting but at the same time very essential in life.

This point is exhibited when the star of the film subscribed to the idea that relationships may be absurd but are very important for an individual to lead a healthy life. To this end, Alvy Singer is also worried about relationships and, therefore, consults the pedestrians on the key elements of a successful relationship (Bailey 124).

Alvy portrays the complications that are inherent in modern relationships when he tries to reflect on his past relationships with his two ex-wives. Despite the fact that star vowed to love the two women until death separates them, he could not understand what made him break the vows. The same case applied to his relationship with Annie when both of them decided to ignore the effects of connection between them (Eagan 92).

Assessment of the content of the film reveals that the element of love has been used to highlight the transformative aspect of art. The aspect of transformation is a common feature of love in real life situation (Bailey 123). For purposes of compatibility in their relationship, both characters transform their behavior to ensure the success of the engagement. Annie exhibits the willingness to adopt new lifestyles after falling in love with Alvy.

A character such as Rob also embraces transformation when he decides to move to LA and adopt a new lifestyle. The main characters in the film, Alvy and Annie fall in love. However, their relationship is short-lived, since the two separate even before the end of the film. The scenario indicates how modern relationships are marked by unpredictable and frequent conflicts (Eagan 89).

Annie Hall is one of the comic films that have also been used to highlight the effects of cultural stereotypes in the society. Alvy labels himself as a comedian from the Jewish culture. This stereotypical approach creates comedy in the film and also highlights the element of diversity in the society (Bailey 124). The stereotype is also used in the film to eliminate cultural barriers between the characters. For example, regardless of the cultural differences between Alvy and Annie, these two unlike people fall in love and spend time together.

The two characters interacted and associated with family members from both cultures. Alvy made an effort to interact with Annie’s parents and shared a meal with them in California. However, the meeting was marked by laughter and easiness as Alvy got the opportunity to share his experiences with Annie’s family. Most characters in the film tend to get used to being culturally stereotyped except for Annie who refused to be stereotyped (Bailey 125).

Performance taken by the characters revealed that the film relied on humor to convey its message to the audience. It integrated various elements of humor to create laughter. Various activities and events were also used to create the comic effect in the film. For example, Annie is a singer who composed songs that mainly delved on love and romance, Rob acted his part by portraying the themes of the song, and Alvy played a significant role in creating the comic effect in the film (Eagan 89).

Annie revealed that social interaction for romantic purposes must be demonstrated by performance. On the other hand, Alvy indicates that performance in romantic relationships must be associated with satisfaction. For example, he made jokes on the issue of sexual satisfaction and doubted his sexual performance when he felt insecure about his love (Bailey 123).

Apart from sex, drug abuse has been employed in the film to portray the themes of freedom, the youthful nature of the characters, rebellion, and open-mindedness. The main characters in the film were youthful individuals who were very likely to rebel against the rules set by the parents. Annie’s initiative to use drugs after having sex indicates the role of drugs in leisure and entertainment (Eagan 89).

Effects of Music

To bring the themes and content into perspective, the director of the film used jazz music in the background of the film. The music also reveals the behaviors of the characters in the play. In spite of the organization of the film, jazz music creates an aspect of tranquility. This, therefore, conforms to the theme of love and romance. The whole film revolves around the issues of love, comedy, and romance. Jazz music creates a greater impact by combining the three elements together.

Jazz music is also used to give emphasis on the theme of love. For example, when Diane Keaton performs a song titled ‘It Had to Be You’ in the background of the film, the audience is able to reflect on the main theme of love. The title of the song portrays a promise or a vow that was made by the lovers in the film. The song is performed twice to create more emphasis on the main theme (Eagan 88).

Music is also used to create a festive mood when the boys choir performed a Christmas Medley. The song reveals that the setting of the film is developed in a festive season when most individuals were on vacations (Bailey 123). The Christmas Medley is also used to highlight the element of tranquility and peace.

Music is also used to portray the aspect of dilemma that greatly affected the main characters of the film. For example, Alvy was in dilemma after having separated with two women before meeting Annie. The aspect of dilemma is exhibited by the song, which was titled ‘Hard Way to Go’ and was performed by Tim Weisberg (Eagan 95).

Works Cited

Bailey, Peter. The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen, Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Print.

Eagan, Daniel. America’s Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry, London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 7). "Annie Hall" by Woody Allen. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/annie-hall/

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""Annie Hall" by Woody Allen." IvyPanda, 7 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/annie-hall/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Annie Hall" by Woody Allen." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/annie-hall/.


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IvyPanda. ""Annie Hall" by Woody Allen." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/annie-hall/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. ""Annie Hall" by Woody Allen." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/annie-hall/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) '"Annie Hall" by Woody Allen'. 7 May.

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