Alvy Singer
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Alvy Singer

Annie Hall

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rating 9.6/10 (5 users)
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About Him

Grew Up… in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn where his father ran the bumper car concession. Their family’s house was located near a rollercoaster, which Alvy says helps to explain his nervous personality. His mother is pretty anxious and high-strung too. When Alvy was in college, his mother was so depressed she took an overdose of Mah-Jongg tiles.

Living... in the 1970s in New York City. Alvy is a diehard New Yorker and considers any other place in the world as culturally inferior. Although Alvy loves where he lives, he is not at all happy with his living situation. He used to live with a free-spirited lounge singer from Wisconsin named Annie, which is a long, sad story.

Profession... writer. He’s writing a play during the day and is working as a comedian at night. His artistic material is all based on his real-life experiences. He makes other people laugh by telling them how depressing his life has been.

Interests... watching four-hour foreign films about the holocaust and reading books about death including his favorites, Death and Western Thought, The Denial of Death, and Death in Venice. He’s also spends a lot of his free time seeing a psychoanalyst, but unfortunately he doesn’t have much to show for it after 15 years of therapy. As Annie tells Alvy, “anal” is a polite word for what he is.

Relationship Status... twice divorced. His two marriages were disasters – especially the second one that ended over a disagreement about the second gun theory of the Kennedy assassination. Alvy admits that he has always chosen the wrong women for him as far back as when he was a kid. When he saw the movie Snow White, he fell in love with the Evil Queen instead of the titular character. Despite the fact that Alvy has been unlucky in love, he remains a romantic. He knows that relationships can be illogical and ridiculous, but they make life worth living.

Challenge... blowing his chance at true love with Annie. Annie was amazing, but he was too blind to see it at the time. Now it's too late; he just found out she's with someone else. He’s miserable without her and is determined to try to win her back.

Personality... neurotic, cynical, self-involved, and overbearing. Alvy is a guy who is hard to please. And when he gets what he thinks he wants, he is never satisfied. Alvy says the old Groucho Marx joke sums up his attitude best: "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." Despite Alvy’s hangups, he remains endearing given how witty, self-effacing, and insightful he is.   

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