A friend who caught yesterday’s Showest screening of Woody Allen‘s Whatever Works (Sony Classics, 6.19) says “it’s very funny and yet lighter even than Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the sum result being that it feels less significant but also works better as a crowd-pleaser.

Larry David, of course, is a perfect Woody Allen stand-in with classic Allen attributes, [such as] speaking directly to the camera. Evan Rachel Wood really stretches in the role of Melodie, a naive and slightly stupid Southerner who never emerges as [any kind of] stereotype. And Patricia Clarkson, as Melodie’s mother, is excellent.”

The screening happened in Las Vegas, the home base of Showest for decades.

The Manhattan-based story is basically about a May-December relationship between David and Wood, and, according to one synopsis I’ve read, an attempt by the disapproving Clarkson to break it up. I’m not sure if Ed Begley, Jr. plays Wood’s dad, but I suspect as much. My friend didn’t think to mention costars Henry Cavill, Michael McKean or Kristen Johnson …whatever.

“It’s probably too light for the same Oscar consideration that Vicky Cristina got,” she says, “but the typical Allenesque wit and flavor mixed with the general New York-iness are wonderful to spend time with. It got a great reaction from the Showest crowd, too.”