Sleeper (1973)

A bit of a slow to start, but when it gets the ball rolling, this becomes a barrel of laughs. Allen paints a very funny and peculiar picture of what he jokingly envisions the future to be like. Suffice to say the irony isn’t lost when one of the first things his character, a health food store owner frozen by accident, learns after waking up is that everything we in (t)his era believe to be unhealthy and bad for your body, such as smoking, fat, etc. is actually found to be incredibly healthy in the future. The jokes follow in similar fashion when Allen is asked to explain certain historical artifacts that the society of the future has trouble understanding, such as what exactly is the function of ABC’s old Wide World of Sports TV program, which Allen then goes to confirm to be a an old form of punishment: if you committed a crime, you were then forced to watch the show. The funniest part of the movie comes later, when Allen is on the lam from the local law and has to pretend to be a robot servant, and gets to all types of trouble when he fails to understand how future technology works. This is also where Diane Keaton comes in to the story, and she and Allen really make a very fine comedic couple. The two of them even have a very funny inversion arc where Allen gets captured and gets brainwashed to be a model citizen of the oppressive future dictatorship, while Keaton  gets tangled with local rebel faction and has the opposite happen to her: she gets deprogrammed and become a rebel Guerrilla fighter. Which appropriately paves road to the climax of the movie where Allen and Keaton have to infiltrate the the mysterious Aries project and on the way get into all types of antics and eventually are mistaken for a pair of surgeons meant to perform a whole body cloning process, which features a very absurd and funny nose held hostage at gun point gag. So yeah, this was fun. Just about the right length and doesn’t really have a dull moment in it, I don’t really know what else to say about this one. Worth watching if you like clever old school comedies.

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