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You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
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Index 101 reviews in total 

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Sad Commentary About Human Nature

Author: FilmRap from Los Angeles
17 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

– We have always been willing to see Woody Allen movies if for no other reason then to see where his head is at. He always comes up with an interesting group of characters who are struggling in great angst in which we can some way identify with or at least understand. This time he gives us various configurations of couples who are each having trouble with their relationships and for the most part they each have some very wishful fantasies. The oldest couple has split because Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) feels he should have relationship with hot young blond (Lucy Punch). His disappointed wife Helena (Gemma Jones) falls under the spell of a fortune teller (Pauline Collins) whom she believes hook line and sinker. Helena then falls in love with a widower Jonathan (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) who needs the permission of his dead wife to marry her. Alfie and Helena have a daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) who is married to Roy, a doctor (Josh Broslin) who doesn't practice but is trying to produce a second novel rather than a family and prefers looking out his apartment window at Dia (Freida Pinto), a beautiful woman whom he is convinced would be the perfect partner for him. The doctor – now writer's wife really imagines that she would be better off with her art dealer boss (Antonio Banderes). If she can't have him she would hope that her mother would lend her money to open her own art gallery but the mother doesn't think the stars are aligned right. There are many more twists and turns in this study of the human psyche. There is also a narrator to the movie (Zak Orth) who really doesn't tell us very much. Allen has a writing style that gives the audience a feel for who are these people and the dilemmas they face from their own point of view. The problem is that when all is said and done, we didn't really care that much about any of the characters despite the unique story and a great cast. There were some good comedic moments but overall it is a sad commentary about human nature. (2010)

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Woody Allen excels again

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
19 December 2010

This film is about a family of mother, father, daughter and son-in-law, who go through various stages in their lives, creating an ocean of emotions that they have to deal with.

"You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" tells the superficially wonderful life of an old man, who feels his life slipping away as he grows old. He leaves his wife, causing her to become neurotic, depending on a clairvoyant to sooth her nerves. Their daughter is trapped in an unhappy marriage, while her husband is dying to prove himself that he is still worthy of something. Given such well developed and convincing backgrounds, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" can only be a great film on character analysis. There is not a moment of boredom, all the characters are attractive and engaging in their own way. In true Woody Allen style, the characters are quirky, yet interesting and adorable. The characters are not as paranoid as in previous films, which is a departure from his usual style. It is still a great effort, and I enjoyed watching it a lot.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Another trip to Woody Allen country

Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York
3 March 2011

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) was written and directed by Woody Allen. Even if you didn't know that, you could guess it pretty quickly. In Woody Allen country, nobody stays in a love relationship if someone better comes along.

Alfie Shebritch (Anthony Hopkins) is an older man married to Helena (Gemma Jones). He decides to have a (somewhat late) midlife crisis, finds a bimbo, and leaves his wife.

Meanwhile, their daughter, Sally Channing (Naomi Watts) is leaving her husband Roy (Josh Brolin) because she has fallen in love with Greg (Antonio Banderas).

Meanwhile, Roy . . .

Allen has the clout to surround himself with these fine actors, and his movies--including this one--demonstrate his complete command of the medium. The problem is that he's writing and directing the same romantic comedy over and over.

I saw the movie on DVD and it worked well on the small screen. I think it's worth seeing if you're in the mood for fine actors in a lightweight comedy. If you're in the mood for more than this, find another film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Okay for an evening ... if nothing else !!

Author: ( from Ranchi, India
23 January 2014

Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins are extremely good actors can easily proved by this movie........, " as a matter of fact, some other movies too ", but that is not the actual point.

A good Woody Allen movie gets you in the first 15 minutes. This one does not. Maybe he was Moody, rather than Woody when doing this. This one never gets you as strongly as some of his other counterparts.

The underlying wit was missing, if not totally. The best wit you get here is Lucy Punch. Rolling eyes. Punch's character was enough for that willy wit otherwise lacking in this movie which we were expecting, to lay in Alfie. The overall reason for 6.

One or two life's sad but underlying parts were almost exploited... left us wanting.

Freida's character Dia was badly cast. Points lost there. Either her accent should have been original or made-up. Wonder how Woody missed here. She looked not at all what slumdog promised, either looks wise, neither acts wise.

The mid section of the movie worked only because of a very good reason. I will share that reason at the end of this review.

Some things just cropped out without a reason which never happens in an Allen film. I am talking about the Kher part....

In the entire movie Roy was something to look out for. Played almost, remember, only almost, perfectly ---

The end commentary said it best, it signifies nothing, and the tale must end.

The reason why all of you must watch this film is because of Watts. I wish i can see her in more happy movies.

6 as I said earlier.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sub sub-par Woody Allen...

Author: wggmn3 from United States
17 January 2012

...and I thought it was an ineffective, sub-par rip-off of Woody's approach...ooops, then I read...!...well, at least the majority of those who are better, & better informed, than I agreed with wonder it jumped to video...

...yet I loved the cast - well, of course, if you can work with Mr Allen (regardless of the material, almost)...& I'm sure that they also worked for scale...if only he really cared to work with them as much as they seemed to care to work with him...

I particularly liked Richard Roeper's expression: "shoulder-shrugging" (you'll apparently have to look up his review if you wish) - in its simplicity it accurately echoes my own reaction...

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Allen at his worst

Author: itamarscomix from Israel
26 September 2011

I happily admit that I'm a big Woody Allen fan and that I enjoy him even when he's at his worst; and on You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, he's definitely at his worst. The characters are all, without exception, completely unlikable, even despicable; elements of the story are recycled from Match Point, Whatever Works, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Hannah And Her Sisters (among others) and the ending is completely unsatisfying.

The film still has enough sharp witty dialog, good cinematography and excellent jazz music to resemble a Woody Allen movie and therefore be enjoyable, at least on a certain level, though it feels more like a Woody Allen copycat than the real deal. For anyone but rabid fans, skip this one.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not too dark,but not too tall. Even so, still greet it.

Author: meeza ( from Miami, Fl
8 May 2011

I was knocking on wood that Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" had the same witty banter and magnetic intertwining story lines as some of The Woodsman's greatest hits which encompassed that formula such as "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "Hannah and Her Sisters". My foresight was telling me that would soon be a reality after the film's 98 minutes running time. What I ended up meeting instead was a decent, worthy film but not in the same ballpark of Woody's greatest hits. "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" is set in Woody's new New York… that would be London. Allen has directed various films there in the last ten years. The tall (well maybe not all tall) and dark (well maybe not even one of them dark) characters of the movie include: Alfie Shebritch- a wealthy, older Brit who craves to be like an iconic movie Brit character also named Alfie by going "more than middle age crazy" by leaving his wife Helena to live it up in his twilight time; Sally Channing- Alfie and Helena's pre middle-age daughter who is quenching to open an art gallery, have a baby, or leave her lackadaisical struggling writer husband Roy; Speaking of Roy, he himself quenches the young juices of a beautiful young neighbor Dia whom he stalks from his apartment window to hers. Now I am going back to Sally, Sally, Sally, I am going back to Sally, I do think so… Sally has a boss crush on Greg, the art gallery director which she serves as assistant of course; and returning to Alfie whose Ponce De Leon fountain searching eventually lead him to marry a gold-digging British prostitute named Charmaine, sounds charming doesn't it; Oh, and I must tell that Helena sees a faux fortune teller named Cristal (but of course) who tells Helena that (see movie title). Allen's thesis statement of "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" is that you will meet a tall dark stranger; not really. It really is that when life puts you on the brink of a decisive moment to make a decision to change, that is does not necessarily guarantee improvement on the quality of life if change is your verdict. There are admirable performances from the all-star cast of "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" which includes: Naomi Watts as Sally (that girl), Anthony Hopkins as Alfie, Josh Brolin as Roy, Antonio Banderas as Greg, Gemma Jones as Helena, and a brilliant Pauline Collins as Cristal. However, Lucy Punch's over-the-top performance as Charmaine and Freida Pinto's D.O.A. portrayal of Dia were not in that same caliber as the aforementioned seasoned thespian pros. I must say that Freida is quite a vision so maybe I was wishing she would meet a tall, corny, pseudo movie critic, and did not focus on her performance at all. This movie does entertain due to its variety of compelling characters, where it falters a bit is that drives the moral of the stories with a "beat on a dead horse" composition, and it is not as analytical challenging as many of Allen's past narratives. I think you should meet and will like "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger", but then again I foresee that love will not be around the cinematic corner once you finish laying your eyes on it. **** Good

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Another Woody Allen movie that works better because he is not in it.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
4 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For most of his career Woody Allen only made movies in his hometown, New York. He has branched out, and this is at least his second (I didn't check) in London. That, plus the fact that he does not play one of the characters, makes this a very enjoyable, quirky movie. As in most Woody Allen movies, it involves the trials and tribulations of personal integrity and relationships.

Anthony Hopkins is perhaps the role Allen might have played, as Alfie Shebritch. He and his wife of many years don't have the spark anymore so they divorce. He worries about getting older, begins to exercise, gets some Viagra, and falls for a stripper and escort who also finds going to bed with others very easy.

His adult daughter is Naomi Watts as Sally Channing, married to Josh Brolin as Roy Channing. We see in a type of flashback that they met and fell in love as American Roy was writing his first novel, and a successful one at that. But Roy has a roving eye, and the pretty neighbor across the way gets his attention as he watches her through their respective windows. As his wife's attention gets drawn to her art gallery boss, Antonio Banderas as Greg, who also happens to be having marital difficulties.

But Roy has a bigger problem, he is working on his second novel and struggling with it. He gets desperate, as often happens to a character in an Allen movie.

SPOILERS: While Roy is struggling with his script, his drinking buddy Strangler has written his first novel. Roy reads it and finds it excellent. Then Roy's own script gets rejected. Shortly Roy gets the news that Strangler and another friend were in an accident and Strangler died. Knowing Strangler was secretive about his work, Roy broke into his home and stole the manuscript, knowing no one else knew about it, and represented it as his own. It was a big hit. But then Roy finds out in fact the news had been delivered backwards, the other guy died, Strangler was in a coma. The movie ends, but the look on Roy's face, at Strangler's hospital bedside, tells us he will have to finish Strangler off. The name Allen chose for the character is not simply coincidental.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The old Allen back in Action

Author: Imdbidia from Australia
10 February 2011

A Spanish-American co-production shot in London and directed by Woody Allen, You will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger follows the lives of three couples from the same family struggling in their relationships: Helena Shebritch, (played by Gemma Jones) and her ex-husband Alfie (Anthony Hopkins), their daughter Sally Channing (Naomi Watts) and her husband Roy Channing (Josh Brolin), and Alfie's new wife Charmaine (Lucy Punch).

The movie is a return to the talkative ironic Allen with a movie full of normal but dysfunctional characters and crazy every-day events. The story is a new turn on couple happiness and how to live life to achieve it. The title is an irony itself, because, most of the time we have to move away from the fantasy of the tall dark stranger to find happiness and the man of our dreams, but sometimes is not. In other words, there is no recipe for love and happiness. The movie offers a daring message: if moving away from the ideal does not bring us happiness, why should we move away from the ideal? In other words, the happiness of the fool is always better than the unhappiness of the sound, no matter what we are told about life, love and happiness. In other words, if being delusional makes you happy, we all should be shamelessly delusional. The movie, moreover, shows and caricatures many of the sins and addictions of modern life and the clichéd dreams of the 21st century middle classes.

Despite being a coral movie, most of the cast members shine in their individual performances. Gemma Jones offers a believable charming portrait of an English housewife who sees her life turned upside down after her separation, and tries to find love and resettle emotionally with the help of a fortune-teller. Anthony Hopkins is also great as a 60-something man trying to cope with his age crisis, his high sex drive, his physical limitations and his emotional need to settle; his performance is very honest and down to earth, toning down and giving believability to his character. Lucy Punch is terrific and very funny as the low class "actress" Charmaine who marries Alfie for his money; she is a stupendous addition to the cast, even though she replaced Nicole Kidman at the last moment. Truly, I cannot image Kidman playing this role at all, and certainly not as fresh and cheeky-vulgar as Punch is.

Josh Brolin shines in his depiction of a wannabe writer who cannot find inspiration to finish his last book, and who tries to escape his personal mediocrity and failure as a husband by focusing on the younger front-door girl Dia. Naomi Watts is wasted in a role that doesn't showcase her great talent, but she is still good in her performance of a talented housewife who puts her life on hold to support her worthless husband. Freida Pinto is very sweet and sexy as Dia; this is a daring role for an Indian actress, as Bollywood has great limitations about showing physical affection, and the Indian public slashes actress who deviate from the norm.

I found Antonio Banderas bland in his role of Sally's boss Greg. One wonders why he keeps accepting stupid roles in English, which not only don't make him any favor as an actor, but highlight his difficulties in expressing himself as an actor in English; he is more selective with his Spanish-speaking roles, where he always offers much better performances. There is a little cameo by Pauline Collins as fortune-teller and Helena's best friend Cristal.

Highly amusing and entertaining, the movie has some very good points, an acceptable but soapy script, excellent performances and a nice European atmosphere. One of those movies that, without being brilliant or memorable, will stay with you longer than you expected!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pretty bad, and I'm one of Woody's biggest apologists

Author: Richard Burin from
24 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Woody Allen has made more truly great films than any other American writer-director. His extended reign as the king of comedy - and a deft dramatist - lasted from Take the Money and Run in 1969 to the beguiling Sweet and Lowdown 30 years later and included an unbroken, decade-long run of masterpieces that took in Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanours. Only Buster Keaton and '40s screwball comedy wizard Preston Sturges have achieved anything comparable. Since '99, though, pickings have been slim, with Allen's creative paralysis coupled to a paucity of ambition which has turned the biggest lie about his work - that he can only make one type of film - into the truth. Anything Else was a lovely update of Annie Hall, Melinda and Melinda had some bright moments and both The Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Scoop offered some escapist fun. But the blind film director of Hollywood Ending, the risible darkroom petting of Vicky Cristina Barcelona and the laughless second half of Small Town Crooks have been rather more representative.

Allen's latest has the virtues and the vices we've come to expect over the past 12 years. Plotwise, it's nothing new. Love and death. There are four affairs across the film's 98 minutes, as married couple Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin bicker and her mortality-minded parents (Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones) split up. These characters, and thus the story, aren't sufficiently engaging, and the film has an acute case of voiceoveritis, though in places the old Allen magic - or some faded semblance of it - shines through. A reunion between Hopkins and Jones is brief but affecting and there's an agreeable absurdism to Watts' despairing farewell chat with boss Antonio Banderas. Allen also draws an amusing supporting performance from Lucy Punch, playing Hopkins' mouthy, uncultured young wife. "It wasn't scary," she complains, following a theatre trip. "It wasn't supposed to be scary," he replies. "The ghosts were symbolic." But a few great lines, one fine comic turn and solid dramatic work from Watts and Jones can't obscure the fact that Allen's 41st film just isn't very good.

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