I am not a big Woody Allen fan; in fact most of his movies are dung heap material. Allen’s voice is whiny and annoying, and the “I’m eccentric and Jewish” routine gets old fast. However, there is one particular piece that borders between not crap and a rose: Bananas. A parody of Castro and the Cuban revolution, most of this movie is actually quite funny and entertaining. Perhaps the best parts are the cameo appearances by Howard Cosell who applied his trademark “telling it like it is” sports commentary technique outside its typical milieu and into the realm of banana republic assignations and the consummation of the marriage between Allen and Farrow at the end of the movie. If only Allen could have worked Cosell into his other movies, maybe he would now have a career worth looking back upon. We might even have given him a pass on the Sun Yi episode. As it is, I am left with the impression that Allen has still not fully explored the comic potential of the Cuban Revolution. This movie was good, but in the hands of a Mike Judge (Office Space, Idiocracy) or a Blake Edwards (the Pink Panther collection), it could have been great.
If you want to seem like some quasi intellectual to impress a date or someone from the chardonnay drinking and chicken salad eating crowd you might do well to bring this old dog out of retirement. The bottom line is that Bananas was not crap but not quite a rose either.