Study Guide

Annie Hall Love

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ALVY: I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member. That's the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.

Alvy lays his cards on the table almost immediately. He and relationships are like oil and water. Like baking soda and vinegar. Like foil and a microwave oven.

ALVY: Talk to him! You speak shellfish.

The lobsters getting loose in the kitchen is one of the highest highs of Alvy and Annie's relationship. Annie hangs the photos she took of Alvy and the lobster in her apartment, and it's revisited in the film's final montage, as Alvy thinks back over their occasionally crustacean-filled romance.

ALVY: Hey, listen. Listen, give me a kiss.

ANNIE: Really?

ALVY: Yeah, why not, because we're just gonna go home later, right, and then there's gonna be all that tension, you know, we've never kissed before and I'll never know when to make the right move or anything. So we'll kiss now, we'll get it over with, and then we'll go eat, okay? We'll digest our food better.

Smooth, Alvy. Really smooth. Here, Alvy plays his anxieties to his advantage.

ANNIE: Do you love me?

ALVY: Love is too weak a word for what—I lurve you. You know, I loave you. I luff you, with two F's. Yes, I have to invent… of course I do. Don't you think I do?

Is it weird that Alvy never actually says "I love you" to Annie?

ALVY: We live together. We sleep together. We eat together. Jesus! You don't want it to be like we're married, do you?

ANNIE: How is it any different?

ALVY: It's different because you keep your own apartment. Because, you know, it's there. We don't have to go to it. We don't have to deal with it. But it's like a free-floating life raft that we know we're not married.

A life raft? Yikes. Alvy's hesitation to really commit to Annie comes back to bite him later. When he accuses her of having an affair with her professor, she's quick to remind him that he's the one who didn't want things to get too serious.

ALVY: Somewhere she cooled off to me. Is it something that I did?

LADY WITH GROCERIES: It's never something you do. That's how people are. Love fades.

ALVY: Love fades? God, that's a depressing thought.

"Love fades" is more than just a mega-depressing thought; it's also a central theme of the movie. So, uh, have a good day, Shmooper.

ALVY: A relationship, I think is, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.

We suppose that's better than having a sharknado—or at least a whole lot easier to clean up.

OLD LADY: Don't tell me you're jealous?

ALVY: Yeah. Jealous? A little bit. Like Medea.

Alvy compares himself with Medea—the mythological character who murdered her own children to get back at her husband for cheating on her. Um. That's some serious jealousy.

ANNIE: I mean, you know how wonderful you are. I mean, you know—you're the reason that I got out of my room, and that I was able to sing, and, and, and, you know, get more in touch with my feelings and all that crap.

Annie may not be in love with Alvy by the end of film, but it certainly seems like she has love for him—or, at a minimum, appreciates him. In other words, her love has certainly faded, but it doesn't appear to have disappeared completely.

ALVY: This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; you know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.

Here's how important this quote is, Shmooper: We filed it under two different themes. The egg joke sums up the whole idea of the movie—that love is absurd, but we're willing to put ourselves through its highs and its lows because, ultimately, we need it.

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