If you were to ask me what director I believe to be the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), that might be the single most difficult question you could ask me. A lot of names would pop in my head. Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Elia Kazan, etc. And while I am not going so far as to call him the greatest director of all time, Woody Allen (all personal flaws aside) is probably the greatest comedic director to ever step behind a camera. His masterpiece, Annie Hall, is in my mind tied for being the best romantic comedy ever made (alongside Chasing Amy). What makes Woody so great is that he is such a versatile director. His career can basically be divided into three parts. His farcical, absurdist early pictures, like Sleepers or Bananas, Annie Hall (which would bridge the gap between the two phases of his career), and his more mature dramedies like Manhattan or Hannah and Her Sisters. Well, the film I just watched Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is definitely one of the earlier farcical pieces and boy, was it absolutely hilarious.

Back in the day, the title of this film was also the title of a fairly serious book about the different sexual questions people were facing in the dawn of the sexual revolution. Woody Allen being Woody Allen decided to take some of the questions from the book and turn them into 7 self contained short films that are all (one exception) rather funny, and some are absolutely uproarious. Some of the stories include Woody Allen playing a sperm who is about to be ejaculated, along with various other people controlling the human body (Tony Randall and Burt Reynolds to name the big stars). One involves Gene Wilder being involved in an amorous relationship with a sheep that was probably the funniest story in the entire set (and it in all likelihood ruined Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for me for the rest of my life). Another casts a Dr. Kinsey type sexual researcher as a new Dr. Frankenstein who unwittingly releases a killer breast on the populace the size of a house.

Even before Woody Allen is a film maker, he is first and foremost a cinema lover, especially the foreign films of Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. His love of this medium is very obvious throughout this film in how well he juggles the many different genres and styles that he uses to individualize each segment. One segment is an homage to Italian cinema. One is an homage to B-Horror films. There’s science fiction. Hell, there’s even a game-show with an incredibly young Regis Philbin called “Guess My Perversion” which is exactly what it sounds like. The only bit that wasn’t very funny was the one that involved a man who liked to dress in woman’s clothing. It was just very boring compared to the rest of the film, and I felt like Woody was a little lazy with that scene.

I know a lot of people who can’t watch Woody Allen films because of a certain aspect of his personal life (which I guess is understandable), but if you are able to separate the man from his art, you need to give this film a whirl. I can even recommend it to those who don’t really enjoy his normal dry, sardonic humor because this film is much raunchier and more broad, yet it still contains that classic Allen wit. The only people that I can’t recommend this film to are those that are easily offended. This is a hilarious look at sex in the 70’s and it doesn’t feel dated one bit.

Final Score: A

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