Is Woody Allen Finally Going Back to Science Fiction?

Illustration for article titled Is Woody Allen Finally Going Back to Science Fiction?

In the latest New Yorker, Woody Allen has a near-future tale of smart drugs that feels like it was written as the beginning of a pharmaceutical dystopia flick. Called "Think Hard, It'll Come Back to You," the Provigil-addled prose unwinds the story of a guy who is about to sample a smart drug. But then he remembers what happened when his friend Murray Cipher sampled a concoction called "Cranial Pops" he found in his girlfriend's cupboard. As our main character's point of view skips from his own and into Cipher's, we are subjected to a speed-freakish barrage of weird details from the man's memory as he goes to a dinner party. Mostly he remembers having sex with random women, but his memory aid also makes him the hit of the evening:

To the Wasserfiends’ party at last. Just on time. Everybody well dressed. Champagne flowing. Cocktail pianist. “Avalon.” Same song playing that night in Vineyard Haven with Lillian Waterfowl. Slipped out of her bathing suit. Naked goddess. Tore off my clothes with her long nails. Our two bodies straining with desire. Moved in on her like a panther. About to consummate passion, when suddenly my leg cramped. Left calf? No, right . . . Thank you for a wonderful evening, Mrs. Wasserfiend. Oh, and the name you were trying to think of when we were discussing the life of Emily Dickinson before was Bronko Nagurski. Out of there just in time. Cranial Pops starting to wear off. Still, no question I was the hit of the party. Came up with Gouda cheese. Lava soap. Got Leo Gorcey and Julien Sorel. Managed to recite the Philippics verbatim. Recalled the Schrafft’s on Fifty-seventh and Third. Hummed Mousie Powell’s theme song. Got Menachem Schneerson, the Sons of the Pioneers. Gyp the Blood.


Now if only Woody would turn this story into a flick. Think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in reverse — a demented tale of a world addicted to Cranial Pops, remembering everything. Instead of making us into intellectual gods, it just makes us irritating cocktail chatterers who can't stop replaying cheesy sex scenes in our minds. Jim Carrey and Sarah Silverman co-star. Think Hard — It'll Come Back to You [via New Yorker]

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Woody Allen's book "Without Feathers" is one of the funniest things I have ever read. This is proof that he still can pull it off. I was dying during the last half of that paragraph...