Movies: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger * * *
(12A, General Release)
Woody Allen's recent films have tended towards the dreary, but You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is at least tolerably entertaining. There are even moments that hint at Allen's glory days as a comic genius, but in the end the film has serious shortcomings.
Josh Brolin heads a strong ensemble cast as Roy Channing, a London-based American novelist who had a big hit with his first book but has struggled to match this achievement since.
Roy's wife, Sally (Naomi Watts), has grown fed-up with Roy's apparent inactivity, and has other problems of her own. Her parents (Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones) have separated, and while one runs after bimbos half his age, the other is comforting herself with alcohol.
Sally has taken a shine to her boss (Antonio Banderas), and Roy has persuaded himself he has fallen in love with a neighbour (Freida Pinto).
In other words, no one's happy, and Allen doesn't bother to do any more than sketch their characters. Which is a pity, because if he'd taken more time he might have had a decent film.
Day & Night