All Things September: Woody Allen’s “September”

september2Welcome to our newest feature, “All Things (insert month here)”, in where during the last 15 days of each month I’ll try to see as many films as I can which feature the name of the month in the title. It’s September, so let’s kick things off with Woody Allen‘s 1987 film, September.

Rules, especially those applied to subjective forms of art, will always have exceptions to them. One such rule that I have lived by for my entire life (born in 1977), or at least until I was aware of cinema, is this; A bad Woody Allen film is still better than most other films with similar story lines. I have now found the lone exception to this rule, its name is September.

Here is a movie about upper class white people, their problems, and the Vermont summer home in where they meet to hash them out. It’s both written and directed by Woody Allen, so you would think it would contain at least one joke. Well, you’d be wrong. However, it’s not merely because of its stance of zero humor that I don’t like this film. Why, there are probably hundreds of films that I have seen and liked that are completely void of comedy. It’s because this film not only lacks humor, but any coherent aim or point to it as well. Now throw on top of that the mishmash of esthetically jumbled performances raging from okay to atrociously over-the-top, and well you’re pretty much left with what I can only call a bad film, or to put it more kindly, a misfire.

But hold on, I’m not done poo-pooing quite yet. Here’s another reason as to why I didn’t like this movie (please skip ahead if you’re already tired of my disparaging critique thus far): Because it steadfastly pummels you over the head with drama so dry in tone that even the most hoarse-throated singer with even the most unlimited vocal range endlessly bellowing out that irritating chorus at the end of “Hey Jude” whilst standing in the middle of the Sahara desert would be a more lively and refreshing affair to sit through.

Okay, I think I’m done poo-pooing for now. Time to end this write-up on a more positive note, so here it goes. Nah, I got nothing.


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Categories: Reviews

3 Comments on “All Things September: Woody Allen’s “September””

  1. September 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    The month-based feature sounds like a good idea. I saw September earlier this year and yeah, it didn’t do much for me either. I’m collecting Woody’s films and so far September sits at the bottom of my list. It simply meanders.

  2. Adam Cuttler
    September 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    Just curious, Coolsville, which of his films are your favorite so far? For me it’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, Shadows and Fog, Annie Hall, Bananas, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Purple Rose of Cairo. Any one of those I can – and have – watched several times.

  3. Lawrence Chadbourne
    September 27, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Adam: What’s even worse is that this is Allen’s second version of the film. He shot the whole thing, didn’t like it, and then completely reshot it (This hasn’t happened that many times in movie history, I recall one Pagnol like that) The first version had a house cat in it, I’m sure it would have been livelier with an animal around.

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