Letter from ‘Manhattan’
The characters in these pictures are, at best, trying. They are morose. They have bad manners. They seem to take long walks and go to smart restaurants only to ask one another hard questions. “Are you serious about Tracy?” the Michael Murphy character asks the Woody Allen character in Manhattan. “Are you still hung up on Yale?” the Woody Allen character asks the Diane Keaton character. “I think I’m still in love with Yale,” she confesses several scenes later. “You are?” he counters, “or you think you are?” All of the characters in Woody Allen pictures not only ask these questions but actually answer them, on camera, and then, usually in another restaurant, listen raptly to third-party analyses of their own questions and answers.
By Joan Didion, New York Review of Books (1979)