“I don’t speak shellfish”

There’s that scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer is huddling in terror at the prehistoric, scorpion-like lobster scuttling across the kitchen floor, while Diane Keaton’s Annie is laughing hysterically.  It’s funny and tender at the same time because it shows you the disparate personalities of these two people, and in spite of their inability to comprehend each other, they’re trying to make it work.

Nora Ephron did a variation of this scene in Julie and Julia where Julie and her husband are trying to work up the nerve to plunge a live lobster into the pot.  It’s routine and spiritless, because it lacks the spontaneous charm of the chemistry between Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.  The one thing I did like though was Julie’s description of how Julia Child instructed her viewers on how to kill the lobster: she’d cleave it right between the eyes with aplomb of an axe murderer.


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