Movie review: "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"Is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter-day sins; is it better to burn out or fade away?"

While that question from "High Fidelity" is asked about Stevie Wonder, it could also apply to Woody Allen's recent work, including his latest feature "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger."

With the possible exception of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Allen hasn't made a great movie in at least 10 years. Unfortunately for Allen, "Tall Dark Stranger" is no "Vicky Cristina."

It's a haphazard mashup of four related storylines, none of which are very compelling, revolving around four members of a British family.

Mother Helena (Gemma Jones) and father Alfie's (Anthony Hopkins) marriage is already in shambles, with Alfie dating a young actress/hooker (Lucy Punch, the film's brightest spot) and Helena blowing her money on psychics.

Daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) works as an art gallery assistant and may be developing feelings for her boss (Antonio Banderas). Her American husband Roy (Josh Brolin) is a depressed writer who can't live up to the potential of his first novel, so he seeks refuge in a relationship with a beautiful neighbor (the talented Freida Pinto).

From the cinematography to the screenwriting to the acting, no one involved with this movie seems to be trying very hard, and it shows.

"You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"

Opens Friday

1 star out of 4