Anything Else [2003]

Christina Ricci invigorates an even-more-neurotic-than-usual variation on the classic neurotic woman in this Woody Allen movie. Comedy writer Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs, American Pie) is madly in love with Amanda (Ricci, The Opposite of Sex), even though they haven't had sex in six months. Falk meets an older writer named Dobel (Allen) who becomes a sort of accidental mentor, encouraging him to break free of Amanda and his clinging agent (Danny DeVito). The pace is sluggish, almost every scene feels like an outtake from an earlier, better Woody Allen movie (particularly Annie Hall), Biggs never seems comfortable with his dialogue--only Ricci makes her character her own, giving her own perverse comic spin to the proceedings. About three-fourths of the way through the movie, the story starts to feel fresher and more compelling, but by then it's too late. Also featuring Jimmy Fallon and Stockard Channing. --Bret Fetzer

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