Quote 5

Alvy:   “I thought of that old joke. This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well, why don’t you turn him in?’ And the guy says, ‘I would, but I need the eggs.’ Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships. They’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd and . . . but I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.”

Alvy turns to the camera and delivers a final monologue summing up his feelings about his breakup with Annie and relationships in general. For the past ninety-some minutes, Alvy has delved into the psychosexual drama of romantic relationships, trying to figure out the key to making them work. This last remark is akin to Alvy throwing up his hands. There’s no secret. He gives up, with the knowledge that however absurd and ridiculous relationships may be, he still will pursue them. This remark, the last line in the film aside from Annie’s song “Seems Like Old Times,” is delivered after Alvy is shown meeting Annie by chance on the street. In the brief vignette, Alvy turns away with his head down, signifying that he will always have feelings for Annie and still harbors regret about their breakup. With this last comment, Alvy concludes that there was nothing he could do to prevent the breakup. However, the fact that the relationship ended doesn’t mean his and Annie’s feelings were any less powerful. He has the “eggs,” the memories of the history he shared with Annie. The remark and the film itself pay tribute to those failed relationships that are no less powerful or worthwhile simply because they did not succeed.