Loading...

Movie Review: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 

Thursday, Sep 23 2010
Comments

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER Kept afloat by an excellent cast, Woody Allen's fourth movie about callow Londoners recklessly pursuing emotional wreckage begins with wisdom from the Bard, but thereafter it's the same old Bergman-lite. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is as careless with plot and structure as any recent Allen movie — the price, perhaps, of sustaining hectic productivity into old age while abandoning his beloved New York for photogenic European capitals. As always, desire and illusion fuel this paper-thin tale of a graying Englishman (Anthony Hopkins) trying to beat the mortality odds by dumping his wife (Gemma Jones) for, whaddayaknow, a bimbo hooker named Charmaine (Lucy Punch). His daughter (Naomi Watts) grows a crush on her art-gallery boss (Antonio Banderas), while her novelist husband (a terrific Josh Brolin) whiles away his writer's block watching his neighbor (Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto) undress at her window. That the movie is not more dull is due in part to the adorably flamboyant Punch (Dinner for Schmucks, Hot Fuzz), drawing on ancient British vaudeville traditions as the prostitute whose instinctive carnality makes Hopkins' character feel first young again, then totally tapped out. At almost 75 years old, Woody Allen, committed nihilist, still believes we need "the eggs" — the buzz of relationship, however crazy or forbidden. So we do, but what a pity that lately, from him, they come parboiled. (Ella Taylor) (AMC Century, Arclight Hollywood, Landmark)

click to enlarge You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
  • You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Related Stories

Reach the writer at etaylor@laweekly.com

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Thu 10
  2. Fri 11
  3. Sat 12
  4. Sun 13
  5. Mon 14
  6. Tue 15
  7. Wed 16

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Slideshows

  • 10 Movies You Should See This Summer
    The phrase "summer movies" will never not mean broad, action-driven crowd-pleasers to me: I counted the days until Batman (June 23, 1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (July 3, 1991), and Jurassic Park (June 11, 1993) were released. For every Dark Knight there are 10 Prometheuses — and that's just among the films that are actually trying to be good — but the hype and anticipation of summer movies remains a fun spectator sport. (More fun than sports, anyway.) Here, 10 from Memorial Day weekend and after for which I have, as the song says, high hopes. By Chris Klimek
  • Doc Docs: 8 Powerful Medical Documentaries
    Code Black is the latest in a string of powerful documentaries examining the domestic health care system's flaws and profiling its physicians, caretakers and patients. In this film -- which will be released in select theaters on June 20 -- the cameras are pointed at the nation's busiest emergency room, that of L.A. County Hospital. Here are seven moving medical docs. Click on the film name to read the full review.

    See also:
    35 Music Documentaries Worth Seeing

    15 Documentaries That Help You Understand the World Right Now
  • Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel in Lego
    A Lego replica of The Grand Budapest Hotel was unveiled this past Saturday, June 14, by builder Ryan Ziegelbauer and star of the film Tony Revolori at The Grove in L.A. Ziegelbaur and his team built the 7-foot, 150-pound structure from over 50,000 Lego bricks. The celebration was held in honor of the Blu-Ray and DVD release of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel on June 17th by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. All photos by Mary Bove.

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending