But then, in a Woody Allen movie-watching frenzy, she saw Manhattan...
"Chapter one: He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion. Uh, no. Make that He romanticised it all out of proportion. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin... Uh no. Let me start this over. "Chapter one: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle, bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart guys who seemed to know all the angles...Ah, corny. Too corny for a man of my taste. Let me try and make it more profound." "Chapter one. He adored New York City. To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of integrity to cause so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams...No, it's gonna be too preachy. I mean, face it, I wanna sell some books here." "Chapter one: He adored New York City, although to him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitised by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage...Too angry. I don't wanna be angry." "Chapter one: He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat...I love this...New York was his town and it always would be."
This is just the intro, which lasts for 1 minute and 40 seconds. Shot in black & white, as Woody Allen or Isaac Davis says in the first first chapter. Manhattan is the story of Isaac, a 42 year-old, his 17 year-old girlfriend Tracy, his best friend Gale, Gale's wife Emily, first-Gale's-mistress-the-Isaac's-girlfriend-then-again-Gale's-mistress/girlfriend Mary and Isaac's homosexual second ex-wife Jill and their relationships with each other.
While I think that all Woody Allen movies are more or less about relationships, based on my limited knowledge, this film was truly remarkable. It's a highly realistic yet romantic piece of cinematic magic, ironic as it sounds. It seemed effortless. It is how I would, or the girl who once dreamt it all like to go to Manhattan and truly live there like how Isaac does in the movie. The witty dialogues, the breath-taking Manhattan views, the brilliant concert background music and the super talented cast- the brilliant Woody Allen, the always spectacular Diane Keaton as the "troubled" Mary, the oh-so beautiful Meryl Streep as the lesbian Jill and Mariel Hemingway as Tracy, whose face Isaac mentions when listing all the reasons which make life worth living.
There are also those select moments in this film which any real movie-watcher will find hard to forget. The intro obviously, the firecrackers bursting above the tall New York buildings with the background music, the magical scene when Isaac and Mary are sitting on a bench watching the dawn creep on the Queensboro Bridge, the scene when we finally see the Mary's "devastating sexual god-like" ex-husband Jeremiah, the part when Emily is reading out the embarrassing excerpt from Jill's tell-all book, the scene when Isaac confronts Gale in front of the "once-handsome" skeleton, and obviously the end when Isaac runs to Tracy.
I really hope people go and watch it. I know it's random to write about this after a whole lot of kitty-pictures but this blog is based on my thoughts which tend to be disorganised, confused and... well, random. This film has inspired me to dream about New York again.