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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger (2 stars)

Woody Allen's London-set comedy lacks vitality, despite an all-star cast including Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin

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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

(12A) 98min

Sally (Naomi Watts) is frustrated with her marriage to failed writer Roy (Josh Brolin) and is struggling to understand her mother Helena (Gemma Jones) who has turned to a fortune teller to guide her through her break up with husband Alfie (Anthony Hopkins). Meanwhile Roy becomes enchanted with a beautiful neighbour (Freida Pinto), Alfie moves in with young escort Charmaine (Lucy Punch) and Sally begins to fall for Greg (Antonio Banderas) the owner of the gallery where she works.

There’s pleasure to be found in Woody Allen’s ability to expertly weave storylines together, letting each character’s desperations lead them down unexpected paths towards ironic conclusions. Yet, despite its impressive cast, the characters and relationships in You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger feel like tired parodies. The film lacks the dynamism that Vicky Cristina Barcelona brought to the screen and instead is more similar in tone and accomplishment to the director’s last release, the less memorable Whatever Works.

Selected release, Friday 18 March.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

  • 2 stars
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Woody Allen
  • Written by: Woody Allen
  • Cast: Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Freida Pinto, Lucy Punch, Naomi Watts, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Pauline Collins

Allen returns to London with an amusing if slight comedy about failed ambitions and illicit passions. There's pleasure to be found in Allen's ability to expertly weave storylines together but despite its impressive cast, the characters and relationships feel like tired parodies.

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