Whatever Works is what happens when you combine the very dry humor of Woody Allen's Directing with the incredibly dry humor of Larry David's acting. You get a film so slow that it almost feels like it stops time. Larry David plays Boris, a genius suffering from both OCD and a very bleak outlook on life. Everything in life is worthless to Boris and nothing good can come of it. After a chance meeting with a young girl from the south named Melody, played by Evan Rachel Wood, his life will drastically change forever. Her positive attitude and pleasant outlook on life make them polar opposites. Even though both Boris and Melody have settled into a marriage of convenience eventually their differences were bound to press through.
Whatever Works reminds me a lot of Annie Hall. From the nervous and somewhat neurotic examinations of life to the way that Boris breaks the 4th wall and talks directly to the audience. The difference is where Woody Allen's performance in Annie Hall as a neurotic and insecure ex-boyfriend is easy to identify with, Larry David's depressive know-it-all attitude just comes off as a jerk. Boris isn't a happy person, but in watching this you will be glad he's unhappy. The underlying message is that you shouldn't settle and always look for something that will make you truly happy.
Woody Allen is still a very intelligent director. There are some very sharply written lines that will make you laugh out loud throughout the film. In the end, however, it is just not enough to save this film. For the most part this movie is bland and feels much longer than its 92 minute run time. Whatever Works plain and simply just didn't work for me.
My rating: 1.5 out of 5