Small Time Crooks only gave the promise of a caper which may have whetted Woody's appetite to make a full-fledged noir/comedy.
You get the feeling that he is playing, having fun with the genre. His back-and-forth bantering is not meant to be taken seriously and is hilarious.
The basic premise is that Woody Allen is an insurance investigator who has run afoul of the new efficiency supervisor, Helen Hunt. She wants to streamline and update things and he lives by his his instincts and street code. But when they're both hypnotized, a pandora's box is opened where jewel thievery seems uncannily unsovlable and laten longing is brought to the fore.
I'm not even tempted really to dig around and see if there is anything to assist my thesis about Woody's autobiographical method of film-making. Ok, so I'm a little tempted. But this is such a fun film. It may not be a great film, but it is light hearted and happy ending, and that is enough for me.