Me, too! When I was in college, we watched Purple Rose, Radio Days, and Hannah and Her Sisters in the background while we played Scrabble. Aside from the obvious references to cinema and the Central Park atmosphere, much of what I love about Manhattan Murder Mystery is the way it reinforces marriage. It shows the warts of marital relationships, the temptations and arguments and pulling away from each other, but ultimately it shows the strength in magnetically winding those strands back around the core. It feels like I'm watching the characters from Annie Hall, picking up the thread of their lives 25 years later (I know, that's not exactly an original take on the film). I love the scenes with Alda seducing Keaton and Huston seducing Allen, and both our main spouses finding the attention bemusing and flattering but not deterred from their constant thoughts about their relationship (and solving the mystery, of course). And it's spot-on with its mockery of marital dynamics - I laugh every time when Keaton wakes in the middle of the night suspecting her neighbors, and Woody tries to control her with "As your husband, I command you to go back to bed! I command you!" (paraphrasing) The foursome dinner in the NJ speak-easy (with Sopranos extras listening in on the morbid hypothesizing), with the shifting flirting and interplay among the couples, is wonderful. My favorite scene is the blackmail (or threatening) attempt by telephone, with Woody's friends timing their playing of tape recorded phrases on multiple players, as Keaton laughs and rolls her eyes; it feels partially scripted and then improvised and then the actors seem to barely suppress laughter at Woody's wild gestures.
I really enjoy Woody movies that are underappreciated (despised? mocked?) by the crowds besides Manhattan Murder Mystery, such as Alice, Everyone Says I Love You, Sweet and Lowdown, and even Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Small Time Crooks, and Hollywood Ending. I am mostly attracted to their generally wistful and lighter-hearted approaches, mixed with occasional darker elements. Primarily I dislike the films that have the main characters veer morally and get away with it (or the movie seems to imply they are rewarded for it) - I'm specifically excluding Crimes and Misdemeanors, which I love precisely because it sets up a comparison to test the ethical stance of the universe for this situation and has such a philosophically downbeat ending when Martin Landau and Woody compare their fates... but I think Crimes is making the point that Landau's and Alda's characters should be punished and Woody's should be rewarded by winning Mia Farrow, and it heavily plays that hand in its denouement at the wedding. But, for example, I soured on Cafe Society, which I was otherwise enjoying for it's honey-colored nostalgic view of Hollywood politics and art, when Jesse Eisenberg's character
I guess I'm a moralist in my older years, and obviously I'm applying my own personal impressions of make-believe characters, so I'm not so much commenting on the artistic merits of the films as much as which ones I could "play in the background" as bearcuborg says. As I get older, I don't like to surround myself with jerks (I get enough of that at the office 10+ hours a day) when I'm watching movies - I am more emotionally connected to a moral gesture, an honest reflection, even a melancholy scene or ending that gives me more perspective. As much as I loved Midnight in Paris for its magic and artistic references and humorous comparisons of eras, when Owen Wilson's character is hiding from his wife in the hotel room that he's leaving to have an affair, it turned me against him, and I had to stick with it to be won back over (by that magic of the time slips). It seemed like Woody was more apt to call out morally questionable characters in his pre-Farrow-divorce works, but maybe I'm not thinking of enough examples. I've seen only a few of his films from the past 15 years, and maybe only half of the 15 years' output before that; my god, Allen is a prodigious artist. The auteurist list should help remind me, I'm looking forward to it.