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|Woody Allen||Allan Felix|
|Diane Keaton||Linda Christie|
|Tony Roberts||Dick Christie|
|Jerry Lacy||Humphrey Bogart|
"It's still the same old story, a fight for love and glory."
"If you're going to take advice - take it from the best."
The film starts with the closing scenes of Casablanca, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. We then see that it is the main character, Allan Felix (Woody Allen), who is watching the film in a cinema, mouth agape. He leaves the cinema regretting that he will never be like Rick.
Apart from apparitions of Bogart he also has frequent flashbacks of conversations with his ex-wife, who constantly belittled his sexual inadequacy.
Allan Felix has just been through a messy divorce. His two friends, Linda Christie (Diane Keaton) and her husband Dick (Tony Roberts), try convincing him to go out with women again, setting him up with a series of blind dates, all of which turn out to be unsuitable. He agrees, and throughout the film, he is seen receiving dating advice from the ghost of Humphrey Bogart (played by Jerry Lacy), who is visible and audible only to Allan. Allan's ex-wife Nancy (Susan Anspach) also makes fantasy appearances, as he imagines conversations with her about the breakdown of their marriage. On one occasion, the fantasy seems to run out of control, with both Bogart and Nancy appearing.
As the film goes on we see that, when it comes to women, Allan puts on a mask. He attempts to become sexy and sophisticated, in particular he tries to be like his idol, Bogart, only to end up ruining his chances by being too clumsy. Eventually, he develops feelings for Linda, around whom he feels relatively at ease and does not feel the need to put on the mask.
At the point where he finally makes his move on Linda (aided by comments from Bogart) a vision of his ex-wife appears and shoots Bogart, leaving him without advice. He then makes an awkward move. Linda runs off but returns, realizing that Allan loves her. "As Time Goes By" plays as they kiss, with flashes from Casablanca.
However, their relationship is ultimately doomed, just as it was for Rick (Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) in Casablanca.
Dick comes home early from Cleveland and confides in Allan that he thinks Linda is having an affair, not working out that her affair is with Allan, but expresses his love for Linda to him.
The ending is a parody of Casablanca's famous ending. Dick is catching a flight to Cleveland, Linda is chasing after him, and Allan is chasing after Linda. The fog, the aircraft engine start-ups, the trenchcoats worn and the dialogue are all reminiscent of the film, as Allan nobly explains to Linda why she has to go with her husband, rather than staying behind with him.
Allan says "If that plane leaves the ground and you're not on it, you'll regret it; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life." "That is beautiful", she says, causing Allan to reply "It's from Casablanca. ... I've waited my whole life to say it!" His journey is complete. The music from the scene in Casablanca resumes the theme "As Time Goes By" and the film ends.
Theatrical : 1972-05-04 : United States of America
DVD : 2001-10-23