Friday, 8 March 2013

Whatever Works directed by Woody Allen

(WIKI) Whatever Works is a 2009 American comedy film directed and written by Woody Allen, starring Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson, Ed Begley, Jr., Michael McKean, and Henry Cavill.

Boris Yelnikoff (Larry David) is a misanthropic chess teacher and former Columbia professor. Divorced, he eschews human contact except for his friends (Michael McKean, Adam Brooks, Lyle Kanouse) and those students, criticizing everyone he meets for not matching him intellectually.

Boris comes home one night to find Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood), a simpleminded 21-year-old, lying on his doorstep. He reluctantly lets her in for a meal and soon she tells him her story. She asks if she can stay the night, which Boris eventually allows, and she stays with him while she's looking for a job. Melodie develops a crush on Boris despite their age difference and their varying cultures and intelligence.

Melodie finds a job as a dog walker while still living with Boris. Out on the job, she meets Perry (John Gallagher Jr.) and they arrange a date. When she comes back home, she explains to Boris that she didn't like Perry because he loved everything in the world too much. Boris realizes that he loves her and they get married.

After a year passes, her mother Marietta (Patricia Clarkson) finds Melodie, explaining that she and her husband John (Ed Begley, Jr.) thought Melodie had been kidnapped. She goes on to tell her that John left her and sold their house after John lost money in the stock market. She meets Boris and is disappointed with him, so she tries to convince Melodie to end her marriage. The three go for lunch at a restaurant and meet Boris' friend, Leo (Conleth Hill). As Marietta goes to use the restroom, Randy James (Henry Cavill) inquires about Melodie. Marietta slyly decides to recruit him to end Melodie's marriage. Later that evening, Leo, who had taken an interest in Marietta, asks her over for dinner. They spend the evening together, and they both discover that she is a wonderful photographer and he even makes plans to contract her professionally.

Boris explains to the audience that the next few weeks, Marietta changed and started experimenting in artistic photography, exotic drugs, and having a ménage à trois with Leo and his business partner, Morgenstern (Olek Krupa). Marietta still hates Boris and continues to arrange for Melodie to marry Randy. She takes her to an outdoor craft market and "accidentally" runs into Randy, who questions her about her marriage. Later shopping for clothes, Melodie meets Randy in another planned encounter with her and gets her to admit that her relationship with Boris is not entirely satisfying. He invites her to the boat he lives on, and the two end up kissing and beginning an affair.

John arrives at Boris and Melodie's home full of regret and hopes to get the family back together. They all go to Marietta's photography exhibit opening together, and he sees how his ex-wife has changed since she moved to New York. Distraught, he retreats to a bar, drinking away his misery. While there, he meets a recently divorced gay man named Howard (Christopher Evan Welch), which makes John realize that he is also gay.

Melodie tells Boris she is in love with Randy. Boris is disheartened by this and jumps out a window again, but this time lands on Helena (Jessica Hecht) breaking her arm and leg. As he visits her in the hospital, he asks her if there is anything he can do to make up with her, and Helena says she would like to go to dinner with Boris.

Finally, Boris hosts a New Year's Eve party, at which everyone is seen in their new relationships: Marietta with Leo and Morgenstern, John with Howard, Melodie with Randy, and finally Boris with Helena. They all kiss and Boris tells the audience that you just have to find all the enjoyment that you can, that you have to find "whatever works."

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