This isn’t surprising when you consider all the absurdities sprinkled into this otherwise realist film — the animated segment, Alvy in orthodox drag, etc.
These lapses in tone were so adeptly handled that they never seemed jarring, but instead added to the movie’s highly original, whimsical charm.
Some of this is old news, but still…
The main plot of Annie Hall — the love story between Alvy Singer, played by Allen, and Annie, played by Keaton — was originally only one of many subplots in Anhedonia, an exploration of Singer’s midlife, Ingmar-Bergman-esque search for meaning after turning 40. Allen himself had just turned 40 when he and Marshall Brickman wrote the script in 1975.
The movie was a philosophical odyssey not just through Singer’s entire life — from a girl-obsessed 6-year-old living under a roller coaster to a neurotic 40-year-old comedian — but through his detailed, hilarious assessment of that life. This version made room for a murder mystery, a sci-fi spoof, a basketball match between Singer and philosophers like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, a trip to Nazi Germany, another to the Garden of Eden and an elevator tour through all nine layers of hell (and much more).