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You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)

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Sally's (Naomi Watts') parents' marriage breaks up when her father undergoes a mid-life crisis and impulsively weds a prostitute. Meanwhile, Sally's own marriage also begins to disintegrate.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gemma Jones ... Helena
Pauline Collins ... Cristal
Anthony Hopkins ... Alfie
Rupert Frazer Rupert Frazer ... Jogging Partner
Kelly Harrison Kelly Harrison ... Personal Trainer
Naomi Watts ... Sally
Josh Brolin ... Roy
Freida Pinto ... Dia
Eleanor Gecks Eleanor Gecks ... Rollerblading Friend
Antonio Banderas ... Greg
Fenella Woolgar ... Jane
Ewen Bremner ... Henry Strangler
Christian McKay ... Poker Friend
Philip Glenister ... Poker Friend
Jonathan Ryland ... Poker Friend
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Storyline

Follows a pair of married couples, Alfie (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones), and their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and husband Roy (Josh Brolin), as their passions, ambitions, and anxieties lead them into trouble and out of their minds. After Alfie leaves Helena to pursue his lost youth and a free-spirited call girl named Charmaine (Lucy Punch), Helena abandons rationality and surrenders her life to the loopy advice of a charlatan fortune teller. Unhappy in her marriage, Sally develops a crush on her handsome art gallery owner boss, Greg (Antonio Banderas), while Roy, an author nervously awaiting the response to his latest manuscript, becomes moonstruck over Dia (Freida Pinto), a mystery woman who catches his gaze through a nearby window. Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Spain

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

22 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Woody Allen London Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$160,103, 26 September 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,247,816, 6 February 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (3-track)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Celia Imrie (Enid Wicklow) filmed her role in a day, and said that she accepted the part, even though it was small, because Writer and Director Woody Allen was such a "legend". Her scenes with Sir Anthony Hopkins, however, never made it into the final cut. See more »

Goofs

It is raining hard when Ray takes Ria to lunch, but dry as they approach the apartment building. See more »

Quotes

Sally: Actress, my foot! The only acting she's ever done is faking an orgasm.
See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Your Body Move
Written by Marc Ferrari and Michael McGregor
Performed by Marc Ferrari & Michael McGregor
See more »

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User Reviews

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger At The Finish Line
26 February 2011 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

Set this time in England, Woody Allen once again invites us into a world of irony and people wanting 'better' than what they have as their present does not fulfill their satisfaction. The title is quite open to interpretation. It gives the impression of 'the prince charming' that straight women fantasize about and dream to end up with. However, there is also another hint which refers to the chaperon who is waiting at the finish line. Rather than exploring, this time Allen just gives us a glimpse into the lives of his key characters. All the characters are in an unfulfilling relationship. Helena (Gemma Jones) is abandoned by Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and seeks comfort in a prostitute (Lucy Punch) younger than his own daughter. His daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) fantasizes about her boss (Antonio Banderas) while her husband (Josh Brolin) struggles to finish his novel until he peeps at Dia (Frieda Pinto), his neighbour.

While many felt the ending to be abrupt, there is a certain irony to it, where the characters who were seeking more than what they had continue to be unsatisfied, while those who were satisfied with what they had and lose it, find that happiness again (like the two idiots at the end). Allen's writing is faulty in places. For example, when Roy reveals to Dia how he had been peeping at her through their windows, instead of being concerned or excited, she acts as though his behaviour was that of a gentleman.

On the technical side, the film is well shot, in the typical Woody Allen (70s and 80s) fashion. The cinematography and soundtrack are amusing. The sets look polished but not staged.

Allen assembles a strong cast. Most of the performances are excellent. Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts and Lucy Punch own their scenes. Antonio Banderas too shines in a subtle performance and Josh Brolin is great as the self-centered writer. Freida Pinto was the weakest link. In all fairness, her character suffered from flawed writing.

While this may not rank among Allen's best work, it's still worth a watch especially for those who enjoyed the kind of cinema he made in the 70s and 80s.


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