You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Still courtesy of TIFF.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Directed by Woody Allen (United Kingdom/USA/Spain, Special Presentations)
His follow-up to the grating schlep of last year’s Whatever Works, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger sees Allen returning to London for a romantic comedy of errors clearly indebted to, but by no means worthy of, Lady Windermere’s Fan and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Tip: when a film starts off with some disembodied voice-over saying “Shakespeare says…,” it’s your cue to walk out and demand a refund.)
As ever, Allen manages to secure genuine talents (Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Stone) clearly eager to work with him. Stranger profiles two well-off London couples, the recently-divorced Alfie (Hopkins) and Helena (Stone), and their daughter (Watts) and husband (Brolin). Helena turns to a fortune teller after her hubby ditches her for a younger woman, and Watts’ Sally butts heads with Brolin’s Roy, a flash-in-the-pan novelist struggling to finish his latest book. Along the way, Sally develops a crush on her boss, a suave art gallery administrator played by Antonio Banderas, setting the stage for ninety-plus minutes of boring extra-marital flirtations and entirely stuipid plot complications.
All the stars provide competent line-readings, but their abundant talents are lost in this lightheaded romp through the woes of alienating upper-crust romance.
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