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MOVIE REVIEW: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Woody Allen rediscovers his funny bone

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger: Rates a B.
Courtesy photo

You will see a small, fun picture…if you go to see the latest Woody Allen movie.

I know a lot of people boycott him, as some do Roman Polanski.

Last year, I felt Allen’s Whatever Works didn’t work. The year before that, I thought Vicky Cristina Barcelona was a poorly written, and highly overrated film.

This years picture from Allen might not be as good as his 1970s classics (I laughed when someone leaving the theatre said “It’s no Bananas.”), but it’s a very enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half.

You get to watch an amazing cast, with lots of interesting things to do.

Naomi Watts is excellent.

Frieda Pinto looks even cuter than she did in Slumdog Millionaire.

Antonio Banderas plays an interesting character you assume is going to be a womanizer. Well, he sort of is, but not in the sleazy way we anticipated.

Josh Brolin channels Tom Berenger, and has some great scenes getting angry at his mother-in-law. She’s constantly telling him to give up his career (or lack thereof) as a writer and practice medicine. It might not be so annoying (since he did graduate from med school), except that she’s taking her advice from a kooky psychic.

Anthony Hopkins slimmed down for his role, as a guy that drops the pounds -- and the old wife -- for a new, younger one. That’s the talented Lucy Punch (who was wasted in hokey scene as the crazy ex-girlfriend in Dinner for Schmucks). She plays a role she’s probably going to play often – the ditzy blonde.

Allen has taken his filmmaking back to England, and he’s revisiting a lot of themes he’s tackled before – Shakespeare, plagiarism, affairs, after-life…but it’s all fresh and fun. You could watch these characters for another hour or two.

There’s a scene where Hopkins takes a Viagra, and looks around the room as if he’s waiting for an erection to come sauntering in. When the young wife wonders why he won’t have sex with her on the floor, he glances at his watch and says “Give me three more minutes.” It continues on in a funny fashion.

That’s not to say this movie is a laugh riot. I certainly think it could’ve used a few more humorous moments.

But when you’re sitting in a theatre watching great actors perform interesting scenes – it really is something. One of those scenes has Watts walking in, after finding out a man she’s been flirting with is having an affair with a friend of hers. The way the fight develops with Brolin is so realistic and brilliant.

Oh, and Audi continues to be the car company that gets the coolest cars and best product placement in films today.

I’m giving this movie a B.