I can’t say it was the best Woody Allen movie I’ve ever seen.
But that’s only because I love so many Woody Allen movies, it feels unfair to brand one “the best”.
Growing up in New York, a wonky Jewish kid who didn’t think much for his own looks, going to NYU to make movies and having various troubles with women–it’s easy for me to think my life is a Woody Allen movie.
The only thing that stops me is how many other people think they’re in a Woody Allen movie too.
In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day yesterday, I had terrible moment of longing. I had been hanging out with my friends Dan and Najia, a couple and then had to help this Chinese kid try to find an apartment.
I was about to settle in for a night of video gaming, when it hit me as it hits the many unattatched males at 9pm the night before:
It’s fucking Valentine’s day and I have no one.
Now, you think at this point a young man with a track record such as myself would be accustomed to not having a Valentine. Actually, last year I did have one, a fine young woman I prepared to wine and dine, until she ditched me at my apartment for my best friend who she invited over because, in her words, “she felt uncomfortable”.
I’m unsure if that’s better.
But maybe it’s because I’m in college, maybe because I’m 21, maybe because there’s just the ILLUSION that I could DO SOMETHING about it, that shut off all reason, logic and want in my head.
All my thoughts about relationships and finding a girl stupid enough to like me, who thought I was stupid enough to like her. Thoughts about seeing Depression-era movies at Film Forum, holding hands until they get sweaty and then wiping them off on each other, thoughts of going down to Christopher Pier with her to pretend I was actually a transexual women to try to flirt with the ghetto-butch-Lesbian couples.
All these thoughts were gone from my head replaced with a Valentine’s Day commandment:
Time to fuck.
Of course, life doesn’t work that way and I ended up going to a lame film-kid party at a near-abandoned concert-venue near to the water, dragging Dan along because Najia didn’t want to go.
Somehow in my mind it connected that if I would just go to a party, any party, any party at all where I knew anyone and got drunk enough, a would meet b, sleep with b and hopefully buy a significant enough breakfast that b would want to spend Valentine’s day with a and not ditch him for his best friend because she feels “uncomfortable”.
It was wishful thinking.
Instead, what happened was that I struck up a conversation with a coked-up film-kid who came over Vodka-Orange in hand to talk about how his hatred for the film community and how he was going to be “like a combination of Woody Allen and Spike Lee!”, exclamation point not added.
Realizing if this was my prospects for the evening, I was better off leaving.
I beat my video game and went to sleep.
But that brought me back to Woody Allen, so I went to see Crimes and Misdemeanors at the library on a Valentine’s afternoon.
It’s one of those films that probably seems oddly appropriate at any time in your life, but felt particularly so today.
The film is split up between Allen, an earnest filmmaker with a disintegrating marriage, trying and failing to woo a woman he seems meant for, and Martin Landau, a doctor whose affair disintegrates, poisoning his life until he buries it with a part of himself.
It made me think that in many ways, life is split up between the moments you regret and the rest of the time that you try, unsuccessfully, to repress them.
There’s also something in the film about finding Joy in all that but I think Allen just threw that in there to avert accusations of provoking suicide.
Still it’s tempting to see one’s self in that Woody Allen vein, no matter how depressing it might be.
He says at one point: “The last time I was inside a woman was when I went to visit the Statue of Liberty.”
Because after all if you were Woody Allen, you might not get the girl, but at least you’d have the one-liners.