The Atlantic Film Festival 2010: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Directed by Woody Allen

I feel the same way about Woody Allen that I feel about the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Yeah, you had some awesome stuff going in the 60s and 70s but maybe, just maybe it may be time to start just hanging out with your grandkids, do a bit of gardening and lazily putter around the house. In short, you’re not what you once were and everyone including probably you, know it.

While I thought that last year’s Whatever Works was nothing new, at least it was mildly amusing and there were moments where I actually laughed out loud. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, on the other hand, feels like Woody just took scrap lines from every single one of his movies, threw together the most pathetic and boring characters he could think of and strung it together with a drawn-out and boring narrative. I’m always hesitant to critique someone so heavily beloved as Woody Allen but in this case, I feel like there’s no way of getting around to it.

The story of You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger centers around a handful of characters. Sally (played by Naomi Watts) who is in love with her boss but is married to Roy (played by Josh Brolin), who is infatuated with his beautiful neighbour. Sally sends her sad mother Helena (played by Gemma Jones) to a fortuneteller just after her husband (played by Anthony Hopkins) has left her and recently to shack up with a much younger woman. Then a bunch of confusing love triangles happen, some people do some stupid things and in the end no one learns from their mistakes.

Whenever I watch a movie that I heavily dislike, I try thinking of things that would make it redeeming, that would make me say to someone, “This movie isn’t good but it’s worthwhile seeing because of such and such.” I tried this for You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and believe me, I tried hard. All I can say is that I did enjoy Lucy Punch as a sort of Russell Brand-esque floozy who seduces Anthony Hopkins’ character. Unfortunately most of the actors look like they’re bored of the film that they’re in and Punch seems to be the only one trying to do something interesting. It’s sad that a movie that features so many amazing acting talents doesn’t utilize them at all and gives them so little interesting material to work with. Shame on you, Woody, shame.

Laura Holtebrink

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