I’m not the biggest Woody Allen fan, but watching “Irrational Man” was quite a pleasant surprise. The biggest turn-off for me were the female characters, I don’t understand why Woody had to pair up someone like Abe with such “basic bitches”. Abe is already an over-the-top type character, he doesn’t need to be seen with two annoying chicks to make that even more evident. The audience will be able to tell that this man is “cray cray” from the very first moment he opens his mouth.
What’s the story is all about? Abe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a philosophy professor who has lost his “joie de vivre”, so he moves to a small town with hopes of getting some “fresh air”. This is where he meets his colleague Rita (Parkey Posey) and his student Jill (Emma Stone). Things start to get interesting when he decides to plot murder against a judge. The best part of it? He doesn’t even know the victim! Let me give you a hint about how “crazy” Abe is: in his mind, this is an once in lifetime opportunity to redeem himself and get his “mojo” back.
The main female characters in “Irrational Man” are just “bland”, almost predictable. Both ladies are attracted to Abe for all the wrong reasons. They see him as an escape from their “plain” lives. Honestly, Abe is not someone you should pick to set the standard because he’s a “hot mess”. Jill is the typical goody two shoes yearning for someone to spice up her life. In her mind, Abe is the most charismatic man she has ever met and she develops lusting feelings for him (even though she already has a boyfriend) — greedy bitch. She might be an academically bright student but falling for her professor, even when he repeatedly told her not to do so shows poor judgement from this girl. Then you have Rita, the quintessential desperate housewife who’s been fantasying about meeting someone like Abe. I don’t understand what Rita is all about, she’s old enough to know better. Come on, showing up at a stranger’s house in the middle of night? Trying to lure Abe with booze and weed? Cheating on her husband? That’s just sad…
Having said that, if I had to pick a favourite character it would definitely be Abe. I mean he’s “crazy”. Do I need to say more? Don’t get me wrong, but I find him quite inspiring. Why? He hit rock bottom, lost his “joie de vivre” but never gave up completely. When he found a chance to feel inspired about life again, he grabbed it without hesitation and made sure that no one stood on his way. That’s what people should do: find their “joie de vivre” and work on it. Don’t let people’s expectations define how you should live.