Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 2010
Directed by
Woody Allen
98 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Synopsis: Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) has just left Helena (Gemma Jones), his wife of 40 years in order to plunge into the fountain of youth. She finds reassurance in the New Age nostrums of a “medium” (hence the title) whilst he marries a trashy hooker (Lucy Punch). Meanwhile Helena's daughter, Sally (Naomi Watts) is married to Roy (Josh Brolin), whose first novel was a success but who has done nothing since. Sally works for upmarket art gallery owner (Antonio Banderas) whilst Roy fantasizes about a beautiful woman (Freida Pinto) who he sees in the window of a flat opposite.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is Allen at his journeyman best – a neatly crafted tableau of characters arranged according to the Shakespearean image of life as a tale told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury but signifying nothing.

There is nothing in the depiction of the follies and flaws of the time-rich middle class that we have not seen in Allen’s films before but this edition was undeservedly dismissed when released in America, perhaps because it is not overtly comedic. and it did not get an Australian theatrical release at the time.The inexplicable success of Midnight In Paris (2011) has changed that, this film's London setting neatly fitting with the recent To Rome With Love in Allen's tour of European capitals.

The characterisations are engaging, Brolin as a one-shot writer does not channel the characteristic Allen screen persona and the ensemble cast are all effective (with the exception of Lucy Punch’s grotesque hooker, a far cry from Mira Sorvino’s more credible version in 1995’s Mighty Aphrodite) with Naomi Watts, as ever, stealing the show. And the humour is more in the dryly European manner than Allen's characteristic wise-cracking style which he over-indulged in this film's immediate chronological predecessor, Whatever Works (2009).

Whilst far from outstanding You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is a quite watchable dramedy. My only frustration is that Roy’s story is left too much up in the air. If only Allen would spend more time on developing his scripts rather than rushing on to the next one he would be leaving us a much better legacy.




Want more about this film?

search youtube  search wikipedia  

Want something different?

random vintage best worst