Deconstructing Harry: What Characteristics of the real Woody Allen are presented?

From: David P. Hayes
Date: Friday, December 19, 1997 6:15 PM

Writers to this newsgroup have already noted that aspects of Woody's personality and public image are depicted in "Deconstructing Harry." (There have been disagreements about whether Woody conveys that he doesn't like aspects of himself, but that won't be addressed in this post.)

The "Newsday" review posted herein cited: "Harry [Woody] is a womanizing, misogynistic, vulgar, hard-drinking, pill-popping, God-hating, whoring, condescending, antisocial monster." "The New York Times" review (also posted to this this newsgroup) noted: "Harry Block, under siege, has been through three wives [Woody would have had to count either Mia or live-in lover Soon-Yi to get this number], six psychiatrists and assorted girlfriends, apparently turning most of them into enemies along the way."

To the list of characteristics can be added:

Interracial sex. Eric Stolz's portray of a younger, "fictionalized" "Harry" (Woody) has him seeing an young Oriental woman (not unlike Soon-Yi). "Harry" himself has sexual relations with a black prostitute.

Sex with a lover's sister. According to Kristi Groteke's (Mia's nanny's) book "Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal" (published 1994), Mia and others suspect that Woody had a tryst with Mia's sister during a break in filming of a movie in which Mia's sister has a small part as the sister of Mia's character (I believe it was "Purple Rose of Cairo"). This would be all-too-similar to the sequence in "Deconstructing Harry" in which Woody's counterpart has hurried sex with his wife's sister while the wife is visible through a window, far in the background.

(It's worth remembering in this context that there were sexual relations between in-laws in "Interiors," made before Woody began his personal or professional relationships with Mia.)

David Hayes


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