Deconstructing Harry

Year: 1997
Production Co: Jean Doumanian Productions
Director: Woody Allen
Producer: Jean Doumanian
Writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Elisabeth Shue, Bob Balaban, Eric Bosogian, Demi Moore, Kirstie Alley, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Mariel Hemingway, Amy Irving, Julie Kavner

We're introduced to Manhattan writer Harry (played by Allen playing Allen in all but name) when his estranged wife comes to his apartment with a gun threatening to kill him for laying their marriage bare in his latest book and basing a less-than-flattering character on her.

So begins an odyssey where Harry meets up with people in both the real world and characters from his books, all of them variously vindicating and vilifying him as he battles writers block and eagerly awaits a forthcoming award from his former school.

While he mentally retraces his lovers, friends, family and the characters they've turned into in his books he collects an old friend (Balaban), kidnaps his son from school as his ex wife (Alley), won't give him permission to take the boy with him, and the hooker he's had the night before, bundles them all in the car and goes off for his award.

It's all a comedy of errors and Allen's stance on the strangeness of fate in his signature style, and describing it on paper like this just doesn't do the comic tics, writing or structure justice. Fantastical eipsodes like the story within a story of the actor who's out of focus (Williams) or Harry visiting hell to collect his Dad and meeting Satan, who happens to be the new boyfriend of the woman he's decided he still loves (Crystal) make it even more fun.

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