American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
So how would you feel if your name was Miles Monroe and you ran the Happy Carrot Health Food Store in Greenwich Village and you went into St. Vincent's Hospital for a minor operation one morning and woke up two hundred years in the future? And America had become a police state? And the underground wanted to use you because you were the only person alive without an identification number?
What Woody Allen does is scream bloody murder and claim to be a coward: "I'm even beaten up by Quakers." But life becomes a grim struggle, etc., and Woody finds himself at battle with the thought police.
If the plot sounds slightly insane, recollect that one Allen movie began with Howard Cosell doing a play-by-play of an assassination, and another had Woody slapping Listerine under his arms and squirting Right Guard into his mouth before a big date.
"Sleeper" establishes Woody Allen as the best comic director and actor in America, a distinction that would mean more if there were more comedies being made. Without making a count, I'd guess that a dozen action movies get made for every comedy, which says more about our taste than our comedians. Mel Brooks only seems to get geared up every three years or so, but Allen is prolific as well as funny.