Everyone Says I Love You is a Woody Allen musical from the 90s. It is a songbook musical, meaning that the songs are not original to the movie. It is not widely considered a great Woody Allen movie or a great musical.
DJ (Natasha Lyonne) is a college graduate student who lives in New York with her mom Steffi (Goldie Hawn), her stepdad Bob(Alan Alda), and her step siblings and half siblings. Her dad Joe (Woody Allen) lives in Paris but visits her often. He still gets along with his ex-wife Steffi and her newer husband Bob. The film follows the family’s romantic entanglements for one year.
The cast is quite impressive. Almost every role is filled with an already big star at the time or by someone who would become an A-Lister in the future. Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Tim Roth, Ed Norton, and Natalie Portman are all main characters.
The songs are good songs, and they aren’t worn out like songs from other musicals. Allen had all the actors do their own singing and dancing and there’s a nice realism to the musical numbers. Allen also has the good sense not to let any song go on too long.
The characters aren’t deeply developed but they are a more pleasant version of Allen’s usual types. It is easy to root for them.
The plot follows familiar territory for the director but doesn’t really explore anything very deeply. That is actually an asset as the film breezes along a good pace and doesn’t get dragged down into philosophy.
Should everyone watch this? Definitely not. If you don’t like Woody Allen films or musicals you will not like this. If you’re a musical theatre purist you won’t like this. Or even if you are an Allen purist. But if you’d like to watch a cheerier than usual Allen film with some decent musical productions this movie is perfect.
It is not the best Allen film by far, but it is certainly my favorite. And despite the lightness of it there are a few scenes that I think about their meaning each time I watch it.