[1] - imdb.com

[2] - www.EveryWoodyAllenMovie.com

[3] - The Unruly Life of Woody Allen by Marion Meade

[4] http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/everyone-says-i-love-you-1997

-Released wide on January 7, 1997

-Runtime 101 minutes

-Production Company: Miramax Films (A Jean Doumanian Production), Buena Vista Pictures

Magnolia Productions, Sweetland Films

-Distributor: Miramax Films

-Budget: $20,000,000 [1]

-Grossed: $9,714,482 [1]

-Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

-Rated R

"Everyone Says I love You " Screening Companion

-In 1996 the size of Woody’s audience continued to melt. He had high hopes for Everyone Says I love You, a retread of the memorable 1938 Kaufman and Hart Comedy You Can’t Take It With You, which he had adored as a boy when he fantasized about having a lovable, zany family just like the Sycamores in the play. [3]

 

-Making every effort to please his audience, Woody offered a smorgasbord of golden oldie tunes, attractive performers (including Julia Roberts), and luscious picture-postcard photography in Paris and Venice. [3]

 

-The term “gimmick” has a lot of negative connotations, yet I've almost never used the term as a criticism on this site. Woody Allen is the master of meaningful non-sequiturs and innovative, effective quirks of all kind. But Everyone Says I Love You is built around one of his most challenging gimmicks. Depending on your point of view, it’s either joyous and magical, or pointless and indulgent. How you feel about it pretty much defines how you’ll feel about the movie. [2]

 

-The gimmick is, first of all, that it’s a musical. In 1996, that alone qualifies it as a novelty. Furthermore, this is a musical with no original songs, actors who can’t really sing, and song-and-dance numbers that are haphazard at best. [2]

 

With Woody Allen’s low budgets and penchant for one-take simplicity, there was no hope for him matching the spectacle of Hollywood’s great musicals, so, instead, he turns amateurness into a deliberate, effective style. The best numbers are ramshackle and shamelessly silly. The low production values makes them feel less orchestrated and more anarchic, which makes them far funnier. The inspiration is clearly the hectic, free-spirited musical segues of the Marx brothers. [2]

 

-As the market for his films shrank, he felt terrified that his time as an innovative filmmaker had passed, just as the end had come for Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, Dennis Hopper, and Robert Altman, indeed for most of the brash, young filmmakers of the seventies, except Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.  [3]

 

-He was keenly aware he could not continue to make the same kind of film, in which he needed only to be “Woody Allen” to sell tickets. (In fact, there was now a generation of young moviegoers who had never seen Annie Hall or Sleeper, to whom Woody Allen was a scrawny comedian who couldn't act and who had slept with his girlfriend’s daughter.) [3]

 

-Obviously, staying au courant, retooling his product, was a matter of economic necessity, reluctant as he was to acknowledge it. Fighting to reclaim his reputation and fatten his grosses, he began to woo a broader range of moviegoers, and that meant playing it safe with fluffy, fee-good stories geared to some of those folks who spent their time visiting shopping malls and seeing Bruce Willis pictures, in short, the mass audience he had derided long ago. [3]

 

-Approaching his sixtieth birthday, he was prepared to forego risky films such as Interiors, Shadows and Fog, and the ill-considered Chekhovian September. In his eagerness to please [a] new audience, he [tried to] visually dazzled them...[3]

 

-The films that follow were sleek and handsome, but they were also popcorn pictures, distressingly devoid of substance or ideas. Auteur filmmaking gave way to a new genre, potboiler auteur. [3]

Woody’s Production Team further crumbles

 

-On location in Europe, the stingy behavior of the penny-pinching Sweetland executives antagonized people. In the late afternoons, Aronson and Doumanian would arrive at the location, as one participant reported, “dressed to the teeth and stand around yapping. ‘Where are having dinner tonight? We have to get finished soon.’ Every night it was where are they going to eat? Arriving in Paris, they did not hesitate to stay at the Ritz with round-the-clock cars and drivers, while the rest of the crew had to content themselves with the local version of Motel 6, scraping by on a minuscule per diem, “the lowest any American crew has ever got in Europe.” It was the same in Venice, where, recalled a crew member, “we slept at crummy hotels and they were at the Gritti Palace on the Grand Cancel. [3]

 

Trivia

 

-The first Woody Allen film since Love and Death to be shot outside of New York. [1]

 

-This is the only Woody Allen movie shot in three different countries — it has scenes in New York, Paris and Venice. [2]

 

-Woody Allen did not tell the actors that it was a musical until after they signed their contracts. [1]

 

-The title of the film comes from a song in the Marx Brothers movie Horse Feathers. One of the songs, "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" (which is sung in French), is from another Marx Brothers movie, Animal Crackers. Another soundtrack song, "You Brought a New Kind of Love To Me," was sung by the Marx Brothers imitating Maurice Chevalier in Monkey Business. [1]

 

-Roger Ebert holds the unconventional opinion that this is Woody Allen’s best movie. On the other end of the spectrum, Bob Weinstein — then the CEO of Miramax, this movie’s distributor — walked out of the first test screening and told Allen “I hate it” (Allen has otherwise described Weinstein as a very nice man). [2]

 

-Tracey Ullman, Liv Tyler and Kim Rossi Stuart filmed scenes for this film, but all were cut by director Woody Allen to reduce running time. [1]

 

-Woody Allen had to tell Goldie Hawn and Edward Norton to try to sing worse because she sang too well to be believable as a normal person just breaking into song. [1]

 

-Woody Allen had a hard time getting the actors to act broadly enough, so often took to acting out the scenes for them to demonstrate. [2]

-The actors sing their own songs except for Drew Barrymore, who convinced Woody Allen that her singing was too awful even for the realistic singing voices he  was after. She said she doesn't even sing in the shower. Olivia Hayman provided her voice. [1]

 

-The Woody Allen/Goldie Hawn wirework dance was filmed in the same place Woody Allen celebrated his 29th birthday and talked Peter Sellers out of killing himself in What’s New Pussycat. [2]

 

-The movie contains a single swear word, which was somehow enough to earn it an ‘R’ rating. Weinstein asked Allen to remove the offending word, but he refused. If any teenagers snuck in hoping to see something dirty, their disappointment must have been legendary. [2]

 

-Drew Barrymore had to wear a wig because her hair was purple at the time. [1]

 

-Referred to, in the title story of the short-story collection 'We Were Writers for Disastrous Love Affairs Magazine' by Adam Thomlison, as "that Woody Allen musical." It is to date Allen's only musical. [1]

 

-Bob (Alan Alda)'s guest for the dinner party, Arnold, is played by David Ogden Stiers, Alda's co-star and room-mate on M*A*S*H for 6 years. [1]

 

- Natalie Portman plays one of Hawn and Alda's children. [2]

 

-All of the choreography was done by 10-time Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele, who also choreographed the Greek chorus bits of Mighty Aphrodite. [2]

 

-Everyone Says I Love You came out within a month of Madonna’s Evita, which, as far as I can tell, was the only other live-action musical released in American theatres in the ‘90s. [2]

Critical Reception

 

-Here is a movie that had me with a goofy grin plastered on my face for most of its length. A movie that remembers the innocence of the old Hollywood musicals and combines it with one of Allen's funniest and most labyrinthine plots, in which complicated New Yorkers try to recapture the simplicity of first love. It would take a heart of stone to resist this movie. - Roger Ebert [4]

 

-Allen's most inspired decision was to allow all of his actors to sing for themselves, in their own voices (all of them except for Drew Barrymore, who just plain can't sing). Some of them are accomplished (Alan Alda, Goldie Hawn, Edward Norton). The rest could hold their own at a piano bar. Allen knows that the  musical numbers are not about performance or technical quality or vocal range; they're about feeling. - Roger Ebert [4]

 

-Not many musicals are made these days. They're hard to do, and the fashion for them has passed. This one remembers the musicals of the 1930s, the innocent ones starring Astaire and Rogers, or Powell and Keeler, and to that freshness it adds a sharper, contemporary wit. Allen knows that what modern musicals are missing is not the overkill of multimillion-dollar production numbers, or the weight of hit songs from the charts, but the feeling that some things simply cannot be said in words, and require songs to say them. He is right. Attempt this experiment. Try to say ''Cuddle up a little closer, baby mine'' without singing. Can't be done. Should rarely be attempted. - Roger Ebert [4]

 

-It's a world of both serene privilege and surreal possibility, and it offers a delightful and witty compendium of the film maker's favorite things. Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

-Much of the film's story is half-hearted, its jokes hit or miss, and what starts out feeling genial ends up unavoidably thin. Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

 

-Your stance on all this is ultimately just a matter of opinion, I think. As I said, I found most of the movie’s songs entertaining, but from a narrative and emotional perspective, I was pretty indifferent to the music. When people burst into songs in movies, it’s an insistent reminder that these aren’t people who live in the same world that we do, and Everyone Says I Love You’s musicality is not transcendent enough to make up for the losses of realism and character development. [2]

 

-Received a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Musical or Comedy.” [2]

 

-79% Rotten Tomatoes Rating