I remember when I was 17, I got dumped. It was hard. I was heartbroken. But I started watching this movie on TV. I had heard of Woody Allen, but really, as a young kid in Steubenville Ohio, you had better odds of having an original opera produced than seeing a Woody Allen movie anywhere.But I watched this movie and it was Annie Hall. And suddenly my life changed. I couldn't believe I was seeing all this heartache and anxiety represented onscreen - along with all the humor of real life.
I remember being distinctly aware that I was seeing my own neuroses reflected back to me. I devoured all of his films after that. I kept looking back at my mom who was on the couch as though to say "Did you hear that? Did you see that?!" But she snoring.
Rom-coms - gag, I hate that that's an accepted term now - but romantic comedies, good ones, are maybe mainstream movies' most direct way to really tap into the constant flow of life's love and pain.
A few of my favorites, beyond Annie Hall, are Arthur, which is every bit as good and funny today as it was when it came out with the added zap of making alcoholism funny; The Heartbreak Kid - the original with Charles Grodin - because it's hilarious and dark. And The Awful Truth, because you haven't seen chemistry until you've seen Cary Grant and Irene Dunne mix it up in high, screwball style.
Let's hear what your favorites are Thursday at the Gateway Film Center at 6:30 p.m. I would love to learn what movies other people have turned to help mend their broken hearts and celebrate the joys of falling in love.
John DeSando and Johnny DiLoretto will record a LIVE episode of Cinema Classics with a Q&A afterward. The show starts at 7:30pm with the happy hour before hand starting at 6:30 in the Gateway Theater Lounge. Tickets available here.