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'Deconstructing Harry'

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 26, 1997


Deconstructing Harry Woody Allen in a scene from his latest project, "Deconstructing Harry." (Miramax)

Woody Allen
Woody Allen;
Billy Crystal;
Robin Williams;
Julia Louis-Dreyfus;
Elisabeth Shue;
Demi Moore;
Stanley Tucci;
Kirstie Alley;
Judy Davis;
Mariel Hemingway;
Judd Hirsch;
Amy Irving
Running Time:
1 hour, 33 minutes
Under 17 restricted

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Woody Allen's lacerating, brutally honest and very funny black comedy follows the erotic, neurotic and creative exploits of Harry Block. A famous Manhattan novelist, Block has spent his advance, but can't come up with the inspiration for the promised novel and grapples with the problem throughout the movie. From time to time, the fictional characters Block has created--all thinly disguised, better looking versions of himself and the women in his life--step from the page and interact with the author. Harry's only real relationships, in fact, are with his characters, who are obliged to put up with his promiscuity and immaturity.

A provocative, but extremely profane work, it is surely Allen's bawdiest since "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex." Only what you find out about is Allen himself and what's most troubling is how easily he fits into the role of the spoiled lech. Allen receives solid support from a versatile cast headed by Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Judy Davis, Amy Irving and Elisabeth Shue. I'm just wild about "Harry," although many an Allen fan may be turned off by the angry tone of what seems to be a semi-autobiographical rant    

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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