Alternatives to Woody Allen
December 12, 2014 11:34 AM   Subscribe

A friend wants to get that witty romantic 70s NY film fix without the obvious choice of Woody Allen. What are other films in that same genre?
posted by kittensofthenight to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Definitive Guide to Never Watching Woody Allen Again suggests Modern Romance as an alternative to Manhattan. However, it takes place in California.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:37 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


How strict are your requirements? Does it have to be from the '70s, set in New York, etc., or do you just want the general vibe of a classic Woody Allen movie?
posted by John Cohen at 11:37 AM on December 12, 2014


Whit Stillman, particularly The Last Days of Disco, but all of his stuff is from a similar aesthetic.
posted by Etrigan at 11:38 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Do they have to actually be from the 1970s or just have that feel?

If they don't have to actually be from the 1970s, I'd recommend Nicole Holofcener's Walking and Talking, Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig's Frances Ha, and of course Nora Ephron/Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally (if by some miracle she hasn't already seen it).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:44 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Love Story
Goodbye Girl (Neil Simon)
An Unmarried Woman
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:45 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


How about Neil Simon instead? The Goodbye Girl and Barefoot in the Park (1967, but close enough?).

On preview: perhaps you don't mean from the 1970s!
posted by gladly at 11:46 AM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also came here to suggest Barefoot in the Park. Very witty, very romantic, very New York, very good.
posted by ejs at 11:50 AM on December 12, 2014


The Apartment hits a lot of those notes for me though it's the 60's instead.
posted by tchemgrrl at 12:02 PM on December 12, 2014


A New Leaf - a hilarious, criminally underrated classic with Elaine May.
posted by susanvance at 12:10 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The folks over at WhattheFlickShow mentioned that Chris Rock is channeling Alvy Singer in Top Five.
posted by sockpup at 12:16 PM on December 12, 2014


I just realized I assumed your friend was a woman--I was stereotyping the audience for romantic comedies. I'm sorry--I shouldn't have done that!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2014


Not strict at all, im totally open to ideas.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2014


Excellent suggestions. I guess i didnt mean specifically 70s, just the tone of older movies. Frances Ha is good, as is Neil Simon.

Ive never heard if whit stillman, that looks great though.

Hurdy Gurdy- funny that you say that because you were totally right, its sad but true, hahahaha.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


A few other witty NYC movies reminiscent of Allen, especially for intelligent, endearingly neurotic characters dealing with the absurdity of life:
Most of Noah Baumbach's work (especially Kicking and Screaming and Greenberg; the latter is set in LA but the main character is a recent NYC transplant)
Sex Lies and Videotape
Igby Goes Down
posted by susanvance at 12:44 PM on December 12, 2014


It does have Mia Farrow, but it is from 1969 and also stars Dustin Hoffman: John and Mary, directed by Peter Yates.
posted by vkxmai at 1:16 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Landlord, set in a pre-gentrification Park Slope.
posted by brujita at 1:28 PM on December 12, 2014


Obscure, but Girlfriends from 1978.
posted by Rash at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Albert Brooks, maybe?
posted by neutralmojo at 2:38 PM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kramer vs. Kramer is not so much a romance sensu stricto, but it's very sweet and very 70s New York.
posted by drlith at 3:19 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd recommend Falling In Love and Crossing Delancey. Both very New York-y films.
posted by essexjan at 4:20 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was thinking Crossing Delancy, although 80's not 70's, it's a WONDERFUL movie. A good double feature would be Hester Street, with an amazing performance by Carol Kane of all people and Crossing Delancy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:32 PM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Roger Ebert compared Julie Deply's 2 Days in New York (2012) to Woody Allen. The film co-stars Chris Rock, and provides an incisive (albeit goofy) study of romantic love and family. The film is set in the present, but otherwise fits your requirements.

Note: the film is bilingual, so be sure subtitles are accessible if you don't speak french.
posted by kiki_s at 9:20 PM on December 12, 2014


A New Leaf - a hilarious, criminally underrated classic with Elaine May.
posted by susanvance at 2:10 PM on December 12


That movie is a howl, really fun and funny. And yes, underrated, never mentioned, though I sure mention it; glad to see it here.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:41 AM on December 13, 2014


Nice question.

For neurosis and romance try:
Something's Got to Give
French Kiss (no NY though)
As Good as it Gets

Lena Dunham's writing is often compared to Woody Allen and her film Tiny Furniture is set in New York and has awkwardness and alienation among its themes.
posted by Dwardles at 2:20 AM on December 13, 2014


Harold and Maude (1971)
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears 1980
Day for Night 1973
The Boyfriend, 1970

All of these are witty, some have lesser degrees of romance, but at least have a romantic subplot, e.g., Day for Night. (Others are pure romance)

edited to say, sorry, you wanted NY film flix. If you want to branch out geographically.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:43 AM on December 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nthing The Goodbye Girl and Crossing Delancey.

Also, not 70's, not grownups, but Little Manhattan also scratches that itch for me.
posted by Mchelly at 5:37 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nthing Neil Simon and adding that the ones in which he directed his wife, Marsha Mason, really do it for me.

The Goodbye Girl, Max Dugan Returns, Only When I Laugh..she plays a single mom to perfection in some very '70s cognac leather boots.

Chapter Two, Kramer vs. Kramer, An Unmarried Woman...and I just watched Listen Up Philip--it had some very Woody Allenish stuff going on with Jason Schwartzman in a pretty dark writer role.
posted by annabellee at 9:30 AM on December 16, 2014


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