Review by Choice Review
This book's title is cute, cute in a way that the rest of the book smoothly, ferociously avoids (except for one essay, Nathan Abrams's "Digesting Woody: Food and Foodways in the Movies of Woody Allen"). These scholarly essays (including the editors' 20-page bibliographical introduction) astonish the reader with their unyielding (scholarly) seriousness. Two essays define Allen's work as Jewish ("Hebrew") tragedy; four explore "the schlemiel theory" with rare originality, scope, and usefulness; three address the unsettling way Allen depicts women; and one, with firecracker wit, analyzes food--"gastronomy." It all adds up to the best book about movies in years. Some of the essays are stylistically, referentially difficult. That is part of their value--nothing glib, nothing facile, and not much attention to gossip or scandal. This book will thrill all readers. It joins three other titles that deserve attention: Eric Lax's Woody Allen: A Biography (1991), Woody Allen: A Casebook, ed. by Kimball King (2001), and Sander Lee's Woody Allen's Angst (CH, Apr'97, 34-4371; abridged as Eighteen Woody Allen Films Analyzed: Anguish, God, and Existentialism, 2002). --Paul H. Stacy, University of Hartford
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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