Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sleeper (1973)

A health food store operator (Woody Allen) goes in for a routine operation and wakes out of cryogenic sleep two hundred years later. Here he finds himself in a dystopian future and involved with the underground trying to overthrow the dear leader. No, it's not that serious.

TCM presenter Robert Osborne said Allen was inspired by silent comedies like Buster Keaton, but I saw way more Chaplin and Marx Brothers here than stoneface. But Allen differed in a more fundamental way from the early comedians. Even when at a physical and economic disadvantage, Keaton, Chaplin, or even the Stooges would control the action. They were active participants in their own predicament. In a real way, they were in charge. Not so with Allen's Miles Monroe. He stumbles around and is directly controlled by the other actors. Everything goes wrong and everything is out of his control. We laugh (if we do) at him bumbling.

Some funny parts and kinda interesting, and it features Diane Keaton back when that was a good thing. But based on it's reputation, it was a disappointment. Silly, slapstick, a few good lines, but sometimes annoying. If this is the best of Allen's early comedies, I don't need to see the rest. AMRU 2.5.
"This stuff tastes awful. I could make a fortune selling it in my health food store."

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