“Whatever” a Meeting of Neurotic, Comedic Minds

Woody Allen and Larry David take on Manhattan in "Whatever Works"

It’s a partnership that could have been made in therapist heaven, as Woody Allen and Larry David team up for “Whatever Works,” a  comedy that's as New York as the two kooks that collaborated on it. 

Allen’s first film shot in his beloved hometown after four straight in Europe, the comedy will open the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22.

Allen is back on familiar turf  -- both physically and thematically -- with "Whatever Works," casting Larry David – of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame – as a brilliant, neurotic and slightly misanthropic New York physicist. 

Sound familiar for Allen?  But this time, for once, Woody may have found an actor in Larry David who epitomizes those nebbishy traits even more than he does.  

After splitting with his worldly wife and giving up his teaching job, he becomes a cranky chess instructor in a May-December relationship with a naive Southern beauty (Evan Rachel Wood), whose mother (Patricia Clarkson) schemes to split them up.

"They are kissing cousins. They are kindred spirits, absolutely," Clarkson said. "But Larry David is very different in the film. He's very different than he is on `Curb Your Enthusiasm.' People think he's absolutely that person on `Curb Your Enthusiasm,' but he's a different man, and he's different in the Woody Allen film.

And the plot explores some hoary Allen themes:  old misanthrope has improbable romance with hot young woman and romantic entanglements ensue.

The film will make its theatrical debut in June.

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