Sleeper, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton’s second film together, is very different from the other films of Allen’s that I’ve seen so far. A tribute to Buster Keaton, Bob Hope, and Benny Hill, the film takes place in the future, and blends elements of science fiction movies with elements of old silent comedy films. Much of the film focuses on Miles, Woody’s character, trying to adjust to the futuristic world, complete with robot butlers, orbs that are used to get high, an almost Hunger-Games-like government structure, and a computer with the voice of Hal from 2001. (Which is kind of awesome.) However, the film is filled with scenes that have no dialogue and feature great physical comedy reminiscent of the work of Buster Keaton and other silent comedians, to the sound of delightful Dixieland jazz music composed by Allen himself.
While having the dialogue come to a halt like that leaving the audience with only physical comedy to keep them interested is a big risk, these scenes are generally used at times when it seems appropriate for such a scene to take place in the story, and they are built up to and spaced out appropriately. Overall, Allen once again proved that he is really a comical genius. It still did not impact me on the same level as Play It Again, Sam, and it did not build as intimate of a relationship between Allen;s character and the audience as his other films had, but it was certainly fun to experience.