Manhattan Murder Mystery

"Excellent"

Manhattan Murder Mystery Review


OK, I like New York. Unless you're from the city, or have ever lived in it, you probably hate it. But, as the opening song of Manhattan Murder Mystery states, Woody Allen happens to like New York. Because he likes New York so much, almost every movie that has him in it, including, although it isn't quite revealed until the end, Antz completely takes place in the Big Apple. A couple, Manhattan and Manhattan Murder Mystery, have even taken their titles from it.

Woody Allen fans shoot me here, but I've never seen Manhattan. Going from Manhattan Murder Mystery, though, you might wonder if he's playing to the stereotypes. Playing to the stereotypes is my only complain in this bizarre mystery about a next-door neighbor's plans to murder his wife. It takes the easy punches at New Yorkers. But, hey, with a place that has as many people in need of electroshock as New York does, can we blame him?

Manhattan Murder Mystery follows a couple (Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, seen before in Annie Hall) whose kid has left for college and are now living their lives out on the Upper West Side. They go to Rangers games and the theatre and the opera. They hang out with their divorced friends, plan their dreams of resturaunts, and go to work. Oh, yeah, and this couple suspects their next door neighbor of murdering his wife.

Although Allen is trepidatious about confronting a murder at first, the bland urban lives of Allen, his wife, his wife's friend (Alda), and the writer Allen edits (Houston), get caught up in the Manhattan murder mystery offered before them. It is a chance for a bunch of paranoid urbanites to have fun: a rare oppertunity.

Going to Jersey for late-night discussions on how to nab the killer, sneaking into apartments, faking phone conversations. All of this is in the mix for the four bland individuals given a chance to be psychotic little children for a change. It is all a game to these four. There really isn't a concern about morals, only about having fun.

Also thrown into the mix is an interesting arangement. Woody Allen suspects that Diane Keaton is in love with Alan Alda. She, in turn, suspects that good old posterchild for neurotics Woody is in love with angelica houston. And, of course, they're trying to set up Houston and Alda at the same time.

Besides Woody Allen's unique touch, Manhattan Murder Mystery is a fairly normal and mainstream film. What bothered most critics, but will never bother me, is Woody Allen's diatribe of neurosis. As always, the compound insanity that he delivers, the one liners that insult himself and New York, and other things that convince you that you may not be the craziest person in the world make the film entertaining.

As far as acting goes, its as solid as you'd expect from such a powerful cast. When it comes to directing, it's what you'd expect from Woody Allen: conservative. He takes his camera and will shoot an entire scene with only one shot.

The script is suprisingly postmodern: it contains wonderful bits of Woody Allen self-reference. For instance, the title Manhattan Murder Mystery alludes to the film Manhattan, and you have the wonderfully brilliant scene in which Diane Keaton decrys wearing a tie with a skirt: the very look that became chic in 1977 with her role in Annie Hall.

Do not expect interesting plot twists. You will not get them. Do not expect high art, you won't get it either. Instead, expect a film that will delight and entertain anyone who hates, or happens to love, New York. What a hoot!



Manhattan Murder Mystery

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 18th August 1993

Distributed by: TriStar Pictures

Production compaines: TriStar Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Larry Lipton, as Carol Lipton, as Paul House, as Ted, as Marcia Fox, as Lilian House, Melanie Norris as Helen Moss, as Nick Lipton, as Marilyn

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.