Woody Allen’s 1969 legit comedy-starrer, Play It Again, Sam, has become on the screen 84 minutes of fragile fun. Allen and other key players from the stage version encore to good results. The placid direction of Herbert Ross keeps Allen in the spotlight for some good laughs, several chuckles and many smiles.
Allen’s adaptation showcases his self-deprecating, and sometimes erratic, comedy personality. Ditched by wife Susan Anspach, who cannot stand his vicarious living of old Humphrey Bogart films, Allen is consoled by Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts, to the point that Keaton begins to fall for Allen. The interlude ends with a recreation of the final scene from Warners’ Casablanca. Jerry Lacy is most effective as the Bogart phantom who drops in from time to time.