Annie Hall

What would your childhood friends say about how you turned out?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (17)

(17) Patti Jenkins, January 6, 2008 6:33 PM

When I was a child Ithought like achild

My dad rest in the bosom of abraham. surely he would not believe what I see every day here in Fresno Ca. If I didn,t have a grip on the TRUTH and all my thoughts were muddled in not black and white ,good and evil but the gray line ha satan has placed over this world Ithink I would go stark raving mad . Well since I read HIS book I know where to look when I need an answer to the questions I have about why brothers can,t live in unity and why are G_ds creatures so cruel to one another I myself have felt it and I know my fathers in control.So I take his hand and journey until he picks me up from this world when I finally get off my face on the ground or whatever maybe Iwill ask him how about you? pray for vthe peace of jerusaliem and Fresno too if you have the time .thanks and shalom

(16) Mrs. D., December 26, 2007 11:54 AM

My impressions...

While I tend to agree with J LaLone, I also want to offer the following:
Although I am sure that the scene depicts experiences reminiscent of W. Allen's past, the characters and lines have at the same time been deliberately miscast in a Dali-like warp of reality. Allen is an intellectual. I think he's coming from (at least AT A CONSCIOUS LEVEL)a totally EXISTENTIAL point of view, wherein there are all these kids, with their various personalities, and they grow up to be, very randomly (a la Kafka, also a Jew), whatever they grow up to be- meaning that whatever they are like as kids isn't much of a predictor. For the most part. On the other hand W.A. really has this ignorant and narrow understanding of his Judaism (I hesitate to endorse the self-hatred appraisal, though it could be I just don't know about it). THus he can't resist making sure that the ugly, old-fashioned nebbish becomes the Tallis salesman.
What seems to be overlooked in this clip is that there will abe a whole bunch of years and dozens of influences on each of these kids that will play parts in their becoming who they become as adults. THe least of these, in this case seem to be the teachers. The parents and other personalities will certainly be their ongoing role models, which is all left out. In the healthier environments many of our kids have been blessed with teachers(and especially Jewish studies teachers - Morot, Rebbeim)are definitely major influences.But it is a crazy world out there. What's sad is that Allen is some kind of an icon and role model for a great number of ignorant and impressionable folks out there. He may not influence what they "become when they grow up" - but he tells them what's funny, and that there are a lot of Jews out there who are fair game for mockery.
He's not alone, though, and that is why he can make a fortune at this.
My husband got a call from his former senior class president a couple of decades after public H.S. graduation, asking for an update on what he grew up to be, essentially, and his family stats, in order to work on a reunion. Well,after the fellow found out that my husband was currently an orthodox Rabbi with a family of 8, he gave a couple of oohs and ahs and an overly cheerful "Thank you very much!!!" as response, and we never did get that invitation to the reunion.
Honestly, who cares what we once thought our friends were going to be. THE main thing is that as adults we treat our children and students with utmost respect, and with the attitude that they are and can be very great, and believe me it will make that impression.

(15) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 6:56 PM

Would it have been better to re-think the ending?

I DO think that the reference here to addiction recovery is a very valid point though i think that positing this at the end of the segment lends too much temptation into the minds of our children, who are all too often taught these self-depracting thoughts and then find themselves repeating these behaviors. May God Find them and save them!!

(14) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 6:37 PM


If you think there's something "nasty" about this clip, you really should get out more. You're entitled to say it's not funny. But nasty and disrespectful? Jews, if anybody, should know better than anyone not to be so thin-skinned. Choose your battles wisely. This isn't one of them. Long live Wood-yee.

"You're what Grammy Hall would call a real Jew."

(13) mrb, December 25, 2007 5:02 PM

Have a sense of humor....

I'm glad that I turned out with a sense of humor.God made funny people and funny situations. The ability to laugh at ourselves is healthy.

(12) Gitl, December 25, 2007 4:44 PM

It's still a good gag

I don't love Woody the way that I used to. I am an actress and I know he would never hire me, because I don't hate being a Jew....or would allow myself to be made fun of as a Jew. However, this is still a great bit. And come on ...we all think about where people are. I went to my last High School Reunion about 20 years ago. Everyone was either a lawyer, Dr. or in Computers. People kept asking me: Are you still performing? When I said yes, they looked at me with a mixture of whistful envy and also as if I had rocks in my head. Duh.....They were so unhappy and frustrated. At least when I'm unhappy and frustrated it's only because I didn't get a job, not because I hate my whole life.

(11) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 4:40 PM

How "innocent" children get formed by their lives and choices

I didn't think Allen was being particularly nasty to the children of his Brooklyn childhood. It's just the childhood he knew. It could have been any classroom, anywhere in America. It was a sanguine view of what can happen to all the little "angels" and "wise-guys" we all once knew in elementary school, each with his trademark characteristics. Everyone turns out to be something; the question is, what have we chosen to become? Allen does it with a sense of humor; he dashes our expectations for these kids of 'continuing cuteness and innocence" with a stroke of straight-faced reality. If it is disturbing it's because it IS disturbing what happens to many people who don't have a positive vision for themselves. Jews are part of humanity, too... remember.

(10) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 3:57 PM

They don't get it.

You have to be a Woody Allen fan to understand what he is saying. It is not meant to be anti-semitic, just to tug at our memories, especially those of us who grew up in Brooklyn. Yes the teacher's seemed old and mean but I remember several of them that way. As for the kids, several of my classmates were junkies and several of them were business owners. The ones who became lawyers, doctors or accountants, may not be as funny and this comes from a movie that is a comedy. Lighten up folks, we all remember our childhoods not quite as they actually were.

(9) David S. Levine, December 25, 2007 2:52 PM


This was not insulting really, just not funny out of the context of the movie, Annie Hall.

(8) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 2:30 PM


i thought it was hysterical. but maybe that is onle because i used to be a procrastinator, but now i am disfunctional. some sort of context? 'cmon this clearly addresses each of our inner yearnings. where are we going? what are we doing with our lives? what did we aspire to when we were younger? how does our current life differ from those aspirations. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. well, at least that's what it says to someone who didn't see the movie.

(7) Bob L., December 25, 2007 12:43 PM

This is my favorite movie

I don't get the point either. Perhaps the scene with his eating ham would have had some point. This was just plain silly and pointless.

(6) J LaLone, December 25, 2007 11:26 AM

Isn't it ironic?

I find this interesting. Annie Hall was made before Woody Allen chose to marry his adopted daughter. He has always displayed an obsession with young girls in his movies, which in reality was a reflection of his true self. He is a strange man deemed very successful and hysterically funny by many people. I think he was funny in his youth, but his dark side won out and consumed him. I saw a glorification on his part, throughout his work of human weakness. It was not a compassion for human frailty or the bad choices made out of inexplicably compelling needs. He had the ability to see, but only half-way to the depth of human struggle. He did not seem to cheer folks on to win, and I mean to truly win. There is such an unhealthy self-deprication, which includes a self-deprication of himself and what he sees in himself as a stereotypical Jew, that does not leave us loving him or anyone like him for trying, but perhaps failing in a most amusingly inept way. After his first two movies, I find his work to be so very sad and unredeeming.

(5) Jenn, December 25, 2007 9:30 AM

Don't you see how nasty this is towards people he grew up with in Brooklyn?

Woody Allen is nasty and has employed Jewish stereotypes with the kids and general nastiness towards the teachers. If you think this is funny,there is something you are not seeing.

(4) Bob, December 24, 2007 8:56 PM

I am missing the point on the clip.

(3) DJ/K, December 23, 2007 9:43 PM

not expected

perhaps this would be better in some sort of context. This is just "odd" and "slightly disturbing"

(2) sharona, December 23, 2007 3:42 PM

I actually found the jtube video to be quite funny. As for the question, I believe my childhood friends would respect the choices I've made to lead a torah observant lifestyle. We should remember though that what's really important is how happy we are with ourselves and how we turned out, we shouldn't spend too much time worrying what others think of us.

(1) Wayne, December 23, 2007 12:53 PM


Perhaps Jewlarious should stick to comedy . . .


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