Adapted from his own stage play, Play It Again, Sam is arguably Woody Allen's most consistently funny early film, even as it blended his broader comedy with more serious relationship insecurities, precluding his greatest triumph, 1977's Annie Hall. Before Play It Again, Allen's films had been praised for their laughs and their nonconformist styles: the faux-documentary of Take the Money and Run (1969), the schizophrenic political satire of Bananas (1971), and the skit-comedy of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (1972). Director Herbert Ross was criticized by some viewers for turning Allen's material into more conventional romantic comedy. Play It Again, Sam was also Allen's first film with frequent future collaborators Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts.
by Brendon Hanley review