"I'm gonna kill myself. I should go to Paris and jump off the Eiffel Tower. I'll be dead. In fact, if I get the Concorde, I could be dead three hours earlier, which would be perfect. Or...wait a minute. With the time change, I could be alive for six hours in New York, but dead three hours in Paris. I could get things done and I could also be dead."
Description: Woody Allen as Joe Berlin speaks to his ex-wife, Steffi (Goldie Hawn) and her new husband, Bob (Alan Alda) after his latest romantic relationship ends in the motion picture Everyone Says I Love You (1996).
Until recently, Joe, a novelist, lived in Paris with his romantic interest, Giselle. When their relationship fell apart, Joe headed back to the states to visit his family and friends who live in New York City. His relatives include...well, why don't we let Joe's daughter DJ (Natasha Lyonne) summarizes his family situation:
"That’s my sister Skylar and her boyfriend Holden. And that’s me. I'm Djuna: D-J-U-N-A. Everyone calls me DJ. I’m gonna level with you. We’re not the typical family from a musical comedy. For one thing, we got dough. And we live on Park Avenue in a penthouse apartment. Dad’s a lawyer. I mean, I call him ‘Dad’, but really he’s ‘Stepdad.’ Because there’s original Dad, right...? who married Mom, and they had me. And then there’s Stepdad, who had kids with his first wife...Okay, look, maybe this is getting confusing for you. You see, there’s Lane and Laura. My half-sisters. They’re great. A little twitty at times, but...we love each other and have a million laughs together. And my stepbrother Scott, who’s very smart...but he’s in trouble with the family because he’s a Republican ...which made my stepfather have a stroke, since we’re Democrats. If Dad’s a Liberal Democrat, then Mom’s even more extreme. She’s a guilty Liberal Democrat...She’s with the Civil Liberties Union and Save the Whales...Lane and Laura go to Nightingale, a ritzy school...Claire’s their best friend. Her mom’s a shrink. Years ago, Claire drilled a hole in the wall. We get our kicks after school by tuning in on her clientele....Now you must meet Grandpa...Last year he wandered out in a towel...and got in line in Times Square....We sent Frieda to get him back. She’s our maid. I think she was Hitler’s maid at Berchtesgaden. But she’s the only one who can handle Grandpa...Finally, there’s my dad, who lives in Paris, but visits a lot. He and my stepdad are great friends. I think he still loves Mom, though they’ve been divorced for years. They’re all friends, and they come to each other with their problems."
During Joe's visit, he relates his hurt and dismay over Giselle breaking up with him. Steffi who still cares for her ex, commiserates with is sadness, but knowing him to well confesses, "I've been trying since we got divorced to find the right woman for him, somebody to match up with his personality. I'm beginning to wonder if the world population isn't too limited."
|Steffi:||You always pick the wrong women.|
|Joe:||Hey, I picked you.|
|Steffi:||Yeah, I know, we got divorced.|
|Joe:||'Cause you were impossible to live with.|
|Steffi:||"I was impossible to live with," I love this. You couldn't figure out whether you wanted to be a psychoanalyst or a writer!|
|Joe:||So I compromised, I became a writer and a patient.|
While Joe stuggles to understand his life, his stepdaughter Skylar (Drew Barrymore) and Holden (Edward Norton) her lawyer fiance plan for a life together. As they sit at a restaurant, Norton places a solid platinum, one-and-a-half carats solitaire diamond ring on Skylar's peach parfait dessert to surprise her, but instead of seeing the ring, she spoons it into her mouth, swallows it and must be taken to the hospital.
As the doctor views an X-ray of the ring, Skylar mentions it cost $8.000. The doctor quips, "I can get the same ring for you for 6 from my brother-in-law."
Later, Skylar's mom, Steffi, tries to break up her romance with Holden by introducing her daughter to Charles Ferry (Tim Roth), a charming ex-convict on parole ("I've never been kissed by a sociopath before"). When Ferry is sent back to jail, Holden proposes again. This time he puts the ring in a Cracker Jack's box and Skylar eats it.
At home, Steffi's husband Bob (Alan Alda) frets over son, Scott (Lucas Haas). "I can't believe I'm having this conversation with my own son, my flesh and blood. I can't believe it. Unless some large Republican pea pods are in the basement and have taken over your body."
Bob is so upset with his son’s political beliefs that he momentarily considers disinheriting him, shouting to his wife Steffi, "Bring down a copy of my will and an eraser!" But Scott's fanatical Republicanism is finally explained when doctors discovers the real reason for his political ideology: a blocked artery in the brain.
When not arguing with his son, Bob contends with Frieda (Trude Klein), the family's German maid who is a mighty force in the family. At dinner one night, Bob inquires, "Frieda, this pasta doesn't have any sauce." Frieda adamantly replies, "It's Bavarian pasta, it doesn't need sauce. The Italians need sauce. The Italians were weak!"
Meanwhile, DJ becomes a matchmaker when she sets up Joe with Von Sidell (Julia Roberts), an unhappily married art historian. DJ coaches her dad on what to say, because she has overheard the woman's therapy sessions and knows everything about her wants and desires. Joe meets with her Venice, and tries to be the dream man she has always fantasized about, but once again, the relationship fails because after finally meeting the man of her dreams, Von realizes she has fulfilled her romantic fantasy and so she returns to her old life with her husband, Greg.
When Bob's demented father (Patrick Cranshaw) dies, a funeral service is held at Campbell Funeral Chapel. During the funeral servie, Bob admits he, "Never believed in God. No, I didn't even as a little kid. I remember this. I used to think even if he exists, he's done such a terrible job, it's a wonder people don't get together and file a class action suit against him."
Suddenly in the middle of the funeral service, the ghost of Grandpa rises from his coffin and along with other ghostly beings dances about the room. Then the ghosts spill into the streets as Grandpa's living family and friends dance in celebration of Grandpa and a life well lived.
In the end, Joe finds himself back home in Paris for Christmas with Steffi and Bob who traveled to Europe to celebrate the holidays where they all attend a party where everyone is dressed as Groucho Marx.
Later that evening, as Joe and Steffi walk along the banks of the Seine River, they discuss how they created a beautiful daughter, how Joe had always been there for her through two major fights with her husband Bob, and a cancer lump scare that turned out to be benign. They conclude they will always love each other, but only as friends.