3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One last hurrah before the slump,
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This review is from: Deconstructing Harry [DVD]  (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.