Our Rating: ★★★½☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian character
Short Take: Classic Woody Allen – a neurotic New Yorker must choose between two women after his wife (Meryl Streep) leaves him for another woman.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1979
Duration: 96 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Bella Abzug

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Manhattan is classic Woody Allen – neurotic, self-obsessed, annoying New Yorker Isaac (Allen) must choose between two women. It’s stylistically beautiful, in black and white, featuring the Manhattan Allen loves, set to the music of George Gershwin.

The major film focus is on Isaac’s angst and his relationship with Tracy (Mariel Hemingway, Personal Best, In Her Line of Fire), his 17-year-old high school student girlfriend. Very inappropriate, and in retrospect one can’t help but think of Allen’s real life affair with his wife’s 17-year-old adopted daughter. Isaac’s other love interest is pseudo-intellectual journalist Mary (Diane Keaton), a very interesting character who seems quite a match for him, despite the fact that she is also seeing his married best friend.

The reason the movie makes this list is because Isaac’s ex-wife Jill (Meryl Streep) left him for a woman, causing more angst and neurosis on his part. He even tried to run over her girlfriend with his car. It’s great to see a young Streep, even though her role is relatively small. Both Keaton and Hemingway also give wonderful performances. (AB)