Making a film a year would be very easy to get stale, but Woody Allen remains interesting. His films have been hit-and-miss with overall quality, but he is still exploring themes that aren’t being seen by today’s filmmakers. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is one of his weaker attempts, but his overall concept is fascinating.
It’s a film surrounding itself with the lives of many people. At the crux is the failing marriage between Sally and Roy Channing (Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin). They are both unsatisfied with each other and their work. He’s a writer who hasn’t had a good novel in a long time and fears about being rejected by the publishers with this next one. She is so far out of love and has a crush on her charming boss played by Antonio Banderas.
Sally’s parents are having their own troubles. Her mother, Helena (Gemma Jones), is wasting all of her money at a psychic as she tries to find peace in her lonely life. Sally’s dad, Alfie (Anthony Hopkins), resolves his loneliness by marring someone very young (and very dumb) played by the funny Lucy Punch.
As their lives and stories intertwine there is less and less respect for these characters. It’s clear they are all here to serve a point, not to be their own characters. There is nothing invested in their goals because the film is about the idiocy of hope. Characters are putting all of their desires into meaningless external forces. Instead of having the initiative themselves to try to better their lives, they distract themselves with other “powerful forces” that can save them.
It’s a premise that has a lot of room of exploration, but there is nothing invested in their goals when they don’t seem to have much chance to be real. As a story there is still plenty of twists and it all ends well, but there is too much distance. The cast all does a very good job, especially Naomi Watts who had a great year.
Due to the boldness of what he’s talking about and the efficient way he always moves their storylines with engaging dialog while remaining visually interesting, it’s a movie worth seeing despite its flaws.
There are no extras on the DVD and Blu-Ray.
Film: 3.5 Yaps