What is the intended message/theme of Woody Allen's film, "Annie Hall?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is tough.  That is going to underscore anything I have to say about this question.  The overall message or theme of the Allen's film is that in order to find some level of happiness in the modern setting, some level of neurosis might be a part of the equation.  There are constant reminders of this throughout the film.  One example of this is when Alvie breaks down life into "the horrible and the miserable" and reminds Annie to be content with being "miserable."  Another example comes with the setting of the film.  New York is depicted as a realm replete with "left-wing Communist, Jewish, homosexual, pornographers" while Los Angeles is shown to be near perfect, where the dominant cultural advantage is that one can "make a left turn at a red light."  Yet, Alvie can only find happiness in New York and only pain in Los Angeles.  The only happiness that can be found in Alvie's life is within a condition where there is some level of pain evident.  When the closing line is spoken about the guy who would turn his brother in, but he "needs the eggs," one is reminded of how there is so much unhappiness in life.  Somehow, happiness can be found within such a condition.  It is contradictory on first glance.  Yet, it is a message reiterated multiple times in the film, so that one understands that if there is any such thing as happiness, it can only exist within the understanding that pain is gonig to be present and must be seen as inevitable to a great extent.