Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Grade: B

Follows a pair of married couples and their marriage woes. To start, Alfie and Helena have recently gotten a divorce. Since the divorce, Alfie has put himself back on the market hoping to pick up a young attractive woman. Helena has dipped into depression and does not know what to do with her life know so she goes to a friend of hers who is a psychic and follows everything she says. Their daughter, Sally, and her husband, Roy, have been having some problems as well. Sally just wants to be a mom but Roy does not seem to like this idea. Sally, becoming increasingly frustrated, begins to have feelings for her boss, Greg. Roy can’t keep a job and is determined to be a writer but no one will pick up his books. After a while he begins to fall for his attractive neighbor, Dia. The movie follows these characters troubles and passions as it all leads them out of their minds.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is the latest from writer/director Woody Allen (Whatever Works, Manhattan Murder Mystery). While this isn’t Allen’s best work, it is better than almost everything he put out during the mid-nineties through most of the 2000s. The story is actually very entertaining and enjoyable to watch. The humor, while it may not always be laugh out loud funny, is still very amusing. A lot of the jokes are rather subtle but very entertaining. One of my favorite gags in the movie I barely caught, Helena’s psychic friend, Cristal, at one point is giving her a tarot reading, but she is using a normal deck of playing cards. The movie is narrated and I still have mixed feelings about that. At times the narration is helpful and entertaining and at other times it’s annoying and distracting, especially since it’s not narrated by anyone in the movie.

The cast of this movie is just fantastic. Anthony Hopkins (The World’s Fastest Indian, Silence of the Lambs) plays Alfie, a man going through a mid-life crisis a little too late in life. Hopkins was just great in this movie, as he always is. It was definitely one of his more subtle performances but still very enjoyable. Gemma Jones (Harry Potter, Bridget Jonse’s Diary) plays Helena, who seems a little bit crazy. She was great and very funny in her role. Naomi Watts (The International, King Kong) plays Sally, Alfie and Helena’s daughter who’s experiencing marital problems herself. Watts was very enjoyable in this movie and it was great to see her talking with her normal accent. Josh Brolin (Milk, No Country For Old Men) plays Roy, a washed up writer who falls in love with the girl next door. Brolin was fantastic in this movie, one of the better performances in the movie, in my opinion. The movie also features performances by Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Ewen Bremner, Pauline Collins, Lucy Punch and Anna Friel.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is a very enjoyable comedy, in my opinion. It tells a good story and throws in a few laughs. The ending is great, in my opinion. If you are looking for a comedy that actually requires a little bit of thought and doesn’t rely on gross stunts and people getting hit in the groin 100 times over in order to attempt to make the audience laugh, then this movie is for you. I definitely recommend checking out this movie at some point.

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