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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deconstructing Woody...
In my opinion, this is Allen's best film of the 1990s. It has all the wit of Bananas and Sleeper, all the magic of Manhattan and Annie Hall, but it also has something else. It stands out as one of Allen's most unique films.
Deconstructing Harry tells the story of Harry Block, a novelist, whose stories are derived from personal experience. His characters are...
Published on 18 Jan 2005 by L. Wilkinson

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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Woody
Almost nothing really works in this ragged, starry, but well below-par Woody Allen film from 1997.
Actors are wasted in tiny roles - such as Tobey MaGuire, Robin Williams and Mariel Hemingway - and others seem under-directed - for example, Judy Davis in a virtually impossible role that, for once in this great actress`s otherwise flawless career, floors her...
Published 24 days ago by GlynLuke


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deconstructing Woody..., 18 Jan 2005
By 
L. Wilkinson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
In my opinion, this is Allen's best film of the 1990s. It has all the wit of Bananas and Sleeper, all the magic of Manhattan and Annie Hall, but it also has something else. It stands out as one of Allen's most unique films.
Deconstructing Harry tells the story of Harry Block, a novelist, whose stories are derived from personal experience. His characters are reimaginings of his friends and family. A recipe for disaster. When reality catches up with Harry, the line between his life and his fiction completely blurs (literally, in one particular case, featuring the brilliant Robin Williams.)
The way that this film is shot is particularly interesting. Allen rejects the usual film editing in favour of clipped scenes that often do not fully conclude. The jerkiness of the film itself reflects the ever changing and irratic nature of Harry Block's life.
The film also acts as a compendium of short stories. Harry Block's stories are often told throughout the film, with cameos from the likes of Demi Moore, Robin Williams and Tobey McGuire. There's also appearances by Kirstie Alley, Marial Hemingway (Manhattan) and the wonderful Elisabeth Shue.
This film is great for any kind of Woody Allen fan - whether you want Annie Hall or Sleeper. And it's also perfect for those who love comedy and well made films with a twist.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 28 July 2008
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I have been a long time Woody Allen fan but had never seen this film before. I have recently been re-watching most of his films and I think this stands amongst the very best..
The structure of the film is very clever and adds interest and variety to what is a very funny story. The casting is superb and Allen is brilliant as Harry. If you have a problem with profanity(extreme), you will probably have issues with this film, but I absolutely loved it.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allen at his best, 6 Jan 2002
This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Looking at the cast for this movie, one cant help but wander who else could gather so many big actors for the same film. Allen plays a writer whos latest book depicts the lives of those close to him. As usual there are a lot of romantic mixups lots of weird situations and those comic moments that are woodys trademark. Higly recomended for any Woody Allen fan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ' Very funny ', 16 Oct 2011
By 
D. S. Sample (Turnipshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I can understand what people who like Woody Allen don't like about this film, its' probably the swearing, something not usually used in his films, don't know if he was trying to be a bit more up to date. Apart from that I found it very funny, leave it a couple of years and i'll probably watch it again, Woody plays the part he's best at, a neurotic, a writer who writes novels loosely based on his life experiences, which has a tendency to upset close family & friends I don't like to give the story away so I won't, a very entertaining and funny film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One last hurrah before the slump, 27 Oct 2010
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
It has been fascinating, seeing this film again for the first time since it was at the NFT back in the late nineties. I remembered a lot of swearing and a lot of laughter in the auditorium. And again the film made me laugh out loud several times.

I see this as another film, like Stardust Memories, where Allen appears to be taking stock of his life and work; the difference is that with Deconstructing Harry he lets fly at his critics, his enemies, at everybody, with a film that is unique in Allen's career for its profanity, its gleeful hostility, its zest for lasciviousness.

The stories are very witty, the ensemble cast superb, even if some scenes don't quite ring true (I didn't much care for Judy Davis' gun-toting hysteria at the beginning); the co-mingling of fantasy and reality as Harry's characters visit him and provide insights into the lives of the people he has known and disappointed. This is another film that nods at Bergman's Wild Strawberries, where the old professor makes a road trip to accept an honour and dreams and memories are stirred as he revisits the scenes of his life. Allen's film is more zany, more cartoonish, but it is also funnier and more of a party. Vignettes of other films, allusions to his prose fiction, reflections upon his personal and professional shortcomings, combined with an almight F*** YOU! to everyone.

People who react with horror have been soaking up the trad jazz and ignoring the work of the artist. It's not likely to be your favourite Woody film, but it's very entertaining and in no other Allen film are the cast - especially the women - pushed to express such fury. A film of very strong emotions, very adult. Just don't expect to know what 'deconstruction' means by the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 July 2014
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One of Woody Allen's very finest movies.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Woody, 2 July 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Almost nothing really works in this ragged, starry, but well below-par Woody Allen film from 1997.
Actors are wasted in tiny roles - such as Tobey MaGuire, Robin Williams and Mariel Hemingway - and others seem under-directed - for example, Judy Davis in a virtually impossible role that, for once in this great actress`s otherwise flawless career, floors her.
Allen makes little attempt at a character, letting f-words etc (to which I do not object per se) 'do the talking' and the rage towards him shown by many of the other characters do the explaining.
Why this has been singled out as one of his best films of the nineties is beyond me. (Film critic David Thomson, a man whose opinion I tend to respect, thinks it`s one of his four best films!) It`s self-indulgent, even for Woody, a director whose work I usually enjoy, and who has made two of my favourite films, The Purple Rose Of Cairo and, especially, the wonderful Radio Days.
Good to see Kirstie Alley, but she sounds like she`s about to burst a blood vessel.
Elizabeth Shue is excellent as usual, and Richard Benjamin makes a rare but welcome appearance in front of the camera for a change.
But the film, with its irritating jump cuts, is a bit of a mess. Allen doesn`t find the right way to tell the story, hopping about all over the place, allowing the other actors to do all the donkey work, so to speak, while we take it on trust that his Harry Block (ho-ho!) is a successful writer whose love life is in free fall.
He really should have only directed this one, and got someone else to play the lead,
an actor who could have gone to town with the central role, finding the nuances that are forever beyond Allen as an actor.
The cast come and go, often with a mere few lines to establish character, and when Judy Davis and Amy Irving can`t make a scene work, you know something`s wrong. What`s wrong is Woody`s lack of direction, in more senses than one.
There are of course things to enjoy, and one or two lines made me laugh out loud, such as the gag about running for offiice in France (the best line in the film?) and there are moments which hit home. Otherwise, for me it was one of this often exasperating director`s least successful films.
If you want one that really hangs together, try Radio Days, The Purple Rose Of Cairo, Broadway Danny Rose, Hannah And Her Sisters, Blue Jasmine, or even the fluffy Midnight in Paris. But even lesser films such as Melinda & Melinda, Mighty Aphrodite, or the overrated but nicely directed Vicky Cristina Barcelona have a flow and sense of pace that elude Woody here.
A disappointment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dog medication, 27 Jun 2014
By 
T. Hedgecock - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Very happy with purchases made for Max - I've seen an improvement to his walking as a result of Max taking Vetzyme for his painful joints
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4.0 out of 5 stars A woody curiosity, 3 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
A different kind of film from Woody Allen from the kind we are used to. Well worth watching and one I have waited a long time to see.
It shows the versatility of a talented if sometimes misunderstood director. Give it a go and you might be surprised.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An acidic, riotous delight, 28 Feb 2001
By 
Mr. D. Woods "dwoods92" - See all my reviews
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Possibly the most acerbic of Woody Allen's films and certainly the most maligned, people need to give this inspired work a chance before dismissing it completely. The jokes are wonderful, I've seen this movie four times and it still makes me ache with laughter. It could be interpreted as a knock at Allen's critics; I wouldn't be surprised. However, there is more to this excellent film than that. It's bittersweet, tender and, at the same time belligerent, work and in Harry Block, Allen manages to make a repulsive character somehow likeable. Not to everyone's taste but those who see the beauty in 'Deconstructing Harry' are in for a real treat. Watch out for the hell scene-marvellous!
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Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998]
Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998] by Woody Allen (DVD - 2002)
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