Radio Days (1987)

Woody Allen has seen career peaks and troughs like few other working filmmakers. His run of hits in the 1980s was remarkable, yet somehow this memoir-comedy—set in, around, and on top of radio culture as it was experienced by a nebbishy Coney Island kid (Seth Green), among others—was relatively unsung when it was released. Twenty years later, it’s beginning to look like one of his masterpieces, and the enormous canvas of ethnic satire, all-American period flavor, eccentric characters, throwaway gags, high-octane nostalgia, and personal (for Woody) ardor makes for easy repeat viewing under a variety of circumstances. New Year’s is one of those circumstances, as the film climaxes with a comic—and wistful—year-end celebration on a fabled snowy New York rooftop. Viewers may end up feeling that the film has encapsulated an entire crowded year of experience, memory, growth, and adventure.

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