Dear Woody Allen,
I will always be there for you. Stop punishing me for my loyalty!
Back in 1984 my older brother drove me to see Broadway Danny Rose. I don't remember why. I'll readily admit that much of the movie went over my head but I laughed and laughed at the helium scene. To this day it's the only thing I remember about the movie which I never saw again. (There were always new and old Woody Allens to see so there was little time to rewatch!). My brother laughed, too. The next year I cajoled my entire family into seeing The Purple Rose of Cairo -- even though they kept grumbling about you stealing the Oscar from Star Wars -- because it was about the movies and because you made it.
It was a turning point. I was already heading towards cinephilia but that blissful melancholy miniature classic handed me a map to get there quicker; my destiny was sealed.
As a reward to you and a treat to myself I go to each and every Woody Allen movie in the theaters. For a good long time this ritual reaped enormous rewards and I rushed out on opening night. I learned to live with the occassional dud and I still rejoice when you have a success -- hello Midnight in Paris! Nice to know ya -- but as the balance began tipping towards the "uhhh" side of the quality scale, I got lazier about it. It's been quite some time since I rushed out on opening night. I still see them but the passion has gone out of the trip ... it's now something mundane, like a favor you'd automatically do for an old friend without ever considering saying "no." You've a lifetime pass.
And so it was when I hit To Rome With Love, your follow up to a resounding success that brought you your third Best Picture nomination! Talk about wasting your post-Midnight advantage...