Review: Bananas (1971)

allen

Or more 70’s could mean more Allen!

Written By: Woody Allen & Mickey Rose
Directed By: Woody Allen

Bananas marks mys first foray into old Woody Allen, the films that are aimed for laughs and laughs alone. But, in Bananas you can see trace elements of philosophical musings that Allen will incorporate into his later works. They aren’t overdone though and they aren’t given any depth, they are what they are and that is minor glimpses into the ideas that Allen will bring to his later movies. Outside of that, Bananas is, as I alluded to earlier, a more straightforward comedy than any of the other Woody Allen films I have seen at this point.

As with any comedy, it either works for you or it doesn’t. I found parts of Bananas downright hilarious, while other parts were dead in the water before they began. The dead comic moments were few and far between though, Bananas was populated by mostly funny material. For instance the break-up Fielding has with Nancy is extremely funny. She lists eight hundred different things that are wrong with him, but insists that they aren’t the reason she doesn’t feel they should stay together.

Holy shit, it’s Sylvester Stallone!

I found Bananas to be similar to a Charlie Chaplin silent. Small comedic moments were peppered throughout the film to bridge the gap between the large comedic moments. Their was social commentary in Bananas, but it was subtle and slick, hidden behind the comedy. Bananas didn’t have the pathos that Chaplin silents did, but in every other way it reminded me of a Chaplin silent film.

The humor found in Bananas is absurd, but it’s the good kind of absurd. When you get down to it, Bananas is a funny movie. I laughed a lot, and I know that I say this all the time, but when I watch a farce such as Bananas I want to laugh and laugh I did. It’s not asking for much, but that is what it takes to make me happy. Bananas made me laugh and it made me happy, yet another fine film from Woody Allen.

Rating:

***1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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