Woody Allen is an amazing screenwriter and director. Part of it is the subject matter: a good number of films seem to be a prolonged conversation he has with his audience about big things like love, relationships, infatuation, sex, and death. What I find amazing about the way he approaches these topics is that he seems to have found some answers early on, and yet he doggedly keeps at it, not letting go of the matters, as he fights both complacency and change. In this movie, Judy (Mia Farrow) tells Gabe (Woody Allen) that he "hates change." Gabe then says, not surprisingly, "Change equals death," and Judy, in what I believe is also Woody Allen's alter ego for a moment, retorts, "Life is made of change. If you don't change, you just shrivel up."
At first sight, his treatment of the above themes is very similar in all his movies, and yet this tension between asking, answering, and engaging with the answer again is always present, and makes his films alive. And then he has a whole set of tricks up his sleeve, a knack for making each one interesting (if not completely fresh) in its own way, whether it's simply by writing wonderful, deceptively simple lines each time (and giving them to the right actors, himself included), mixing the above core themes with others, just as important to him, as in Midnight in Paris (2011), or by going even further to delving it all into light-hearted comedy, as in Scoop (2006) or You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010). In this latter film he complicates the whole scenario to an outlandish degree, and then, when despite everything we've bought into the story and wait for an ending, he ends the film abruptly, offering no resolution, exposing the make-believe.