“God, she’s beautiful…”
The first Woody Allen film I ever saw in a theatre was HANNAH AND HER SISTERS on opening night. Fresh out of high school with a new car and the world was my oyster, albeit a suburban one I wanted to escape for the bigger world beyond. I was a Woody fan since being single digits, with a shared birthday and birthplace, and was one of the few kids at my school to include STAR WARS and ANNIE HALL as my two favorite films. HANAH AND HER SISTERS was released at the height of Reagan’s FeelGood America, its unusual hopeful ending fitting in with the era along with the script’s satirical targets, and became Woody’s biggest hit — much to his chagrin. Bookended by two Thanksgiving gatherings, the film is a delightful mosaic of neurotic city characters seeking love and meaning in a random universe, signified by the brief shot of Barbara Hershey staring out to the bobbing logs in the water with Manhattan in the background. I also felt validated that a key scene takes place before a Tower Records display for Duran Duran’s “Arena” LP (which I assume Woody framed in the bg because of the metaphor) Every time I hear the opening horn refrain of “You Made Me Love You” over the spinning Orion logo, I’m transported back to that opening night and the eager feeling of cultural release….