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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen's Random Harvest
I found some comments that "Tall Dark Stranger" was about 'absolutely nothing' ironic, because the voiceover at the beginning of the film, quoting "Macbeth," informs viewers exactly of what they are going to see: a story "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!"

As usual, Allen has assembled an outstanding cast, including Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts, Anthony...
Published on 1 Dec 2011 by F. S. L'hoir

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly odd and pretty average
Quirky is the only way to describe this film. It boasts a great cast which some would argue are wasted on this rather bland film; this may be true but the cast proves to be the film's redeeming factor because lets face it, Woody Allen seems to have lost his touch slightly. I found the characters to be a little neurotic and for the most part not particularly likeable. The...
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by Andrea Smith


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen's Random Harvest, 1 Dec 2011
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I found some comments that "Tall Dark Stranger" was about 'absolutely nothing' ironic, because the voiceover at the beginning of the film, quoting "Macbeth," informs viewers exactly of what they are going to see: a story "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!"

As usual, Allen has assembled an outstanding cast, including Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, and Antonio Banderas. Jones is especially endearing as Hopkins' neurotic ex-wife and the mother of the equally neurotic Watts. Josh Brolin plays Watts's rather obnoxious husband, who is attracted to Freida Pinto, charming as the lady in red, who inhabits the window of his dreams, in the flat across the courtyard. Lucy Punch is convincingly downmarket as Hopkins' enticing squeeze, and Banderas plays Watts's plausible (if dodgy) boss with panache. Allen emphasises the hopes and aspirations of his characters effectively with a lush yet intimate musical score, which includes a melange of pop, jazz, opera, chamber (Mozart) and classical guitar (Boccherini). The scrumptious London settings provide a perfect background for his characters, and make the film a very enjoyable place for viewers to while away a couple of hours.

One of the things I love about Woody Allen's films is their unpredictability. Even though they hold recurrent themes, no two are exactly alike. They always contain surprises that delight, if one accepts them on their own terms. "Tall Dark Stranger" is a celebration of life in all its randomness and unpredictability. It is about the grass always seeming greener elsewhere; about possibility; about hope, that last spirit remaining in Pandora's box. In other words, it is about each one of us living our separate lives, which sometimes touch one another, and then, unexpectedly, move off in random directions.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but Allen remains an important voice, 27 Oct 2010
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
An odd film for Allen, neither an overt comedy or one of his dark serious films (e.g. `Crimes and Misdemeanors'). This is a `light' drama, something he hasn't done much. While not Allen's best work, I felt more far warmly towards it than most of the press, especially after a second viewing. Some of the criticisms are valid; the voice over narration feels out of tone with the piece, and at times tells us too literally what we already know. Yet, in the current U.S. cinema, how many film-makers are getting to even and try and address the complex subtle questions of grown-up relationships, aging and the fear of death, and the lies we tell ourselves to get through it all? Or deal with the paradox that humans need something to believe in, and yet that same belief can also lead us astray? Or give great older actors like Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones really meaty roles? As long as Allen keeps asking questions, he'll remain a voice worth listening to.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly odd and pretty average, 4 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Quirky is the only way to describe this film. It boasts a great cast which some would argue are wasted on this rather bland film; this may be true but the cast proves to be the film's redeeming factor because lets face it, Woody Allen seems to have lost his touch slightly. I found the characters to be a little neurotic and for the most part not particularly likeable. The voiceover that was prevalent in Vicky Cristina Barcelona also features in this film and is unnecessary and downright irritating.

And yet - there are some sharp and witty lines in there that made me chuckle and the characters are quite realistic and believable: the frustrated wife who wants a family but her husband is a delusional writer who cannot support them, the divorced older mother who drinks more than she should, the old guy who thinks he can keep up with a younger woman. The complicated marriages. To an extent, we can all relate to at least some of these people and their lives.

Overall, it wasn't the worst film I've ever seen and I will give it an extra star than it probably deserves for the fantastic cast and the clever little twists along the way. That said, I'm glad I rented a copy and didn't spend my hard earned cash on it. I wouldn't recommend this as a purchase for the current price on Amazon - as another reviewer said, you will want your money back!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this film, a modern comedy gem from Woody Allen., 29 Mar 2011
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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I loved this film, a modern comedy gem from Woody Allen.

The extremely attractive cast excels in this British based and toned comedy, which is dark, funny, fun, light and smart. The combined elements create a great film, that is both easy on the eye and mind, being genuinely charming in creating smiles with it's humour.

'YWMATDS' has a great story, focusing in on a married couple, their marriage break up and affairs, and her recently divorced parents. The story is funny, believable, smart, stylish and impressively gripping.

The film stars the excellent;y established Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins, with great performances from newbies Josh Brolin, Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Lucy Punch. Dare I hail a faultless cast?

A must see for comedy and rom-com fans, or watchers of great Movies alike. Why not check out Allen's other newer films (Whatever Works, Match Point, Melinda and Melinda etc)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Complicated as Real Life, 25 Feb 2014
By 
Thomas Pots "T Pots" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Allen returned to London to make this one, about a set of relationships that revolve around lust and its unpredictable outcomes. This is a common Allen theme, but he finds plenty of new ideas to keep this revisit interesting. It did well at the box office, despite some lousy reviews. His movies always get a mixed reception, mainly it seems because they fail to fit the standard movie format of neat beginnings, middles and ends, and I suppose because they dig too closely into ordinary lives to be thought of as genuine escapism.

What we have here is a young married couple in trouble. Roy is a failing author, unable to follow-up on early successes, while Sally is bored of coping with his failure. Sally seeks outlet in the company of her wealthy, attentive and attractive boss, while Roy falls for Dia, the Asian beauty living nearby. While this is happening, Sally's parents, Helena and Alfie, split up when he has a late-life crisis and dumps his boring wife for a sexy younger woman. So far, so Allen. This is not the most complicated Allen set-up ever, but I can see how some viewers might prefer to follow just one of the marital bust-ups. Things do get more complicated as we progress, before almost every thread is tied up neatly at the end. As with most Allen plots, some questions remain for us to answer.

The movie's comedy is mainly in Alfie's foolishness in falling in love with Charmaine, an expensive prostitute who flatters his ego. Charmaine is a gold-digging materialist, and it is difficult to believe that someone like Alfie could think her affection is genuine. I found her so brash that she trampled the subtleties of the other story lines. She is not the first prostitute to have prominence in an Allen movie. In Deconstructing Harry [DVD] [1998], we have a man who discovers that his mother is a prostitute, but there the mother was more credible than the vapid trollop Allen serves us here.

As an Allen fan, I enjoyed the whole thing. The script is good if not especially memorable, but the acting is first-rate throughout. It is, as always, a character-driven story, grounded in reality but with an acerbic comic bitterness that covers for the implausible Alfie. It is one of his weakest movies of the period, but worth watching. It's odd that it should be weak, because it is sandwiched between two of his best movies: the superbly pithy Whatever Works [DVD] [2010], and the intelligently crafted Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012].
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I knew this movie and simply wanted to have my own copy. Great, highly recommend. Great story, insight into various personalities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars continuing in a darker vein, 26 April 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is, I think, the third of Woody Allen's films to be set in London, and like Match Point and Cassandra's Dream before it, continues to give a much gloomier reflection of life than his earlier work. It is nevertheless the funniest of the three by far, in fact I was quite surprised by how badly everything turns out given the humour of most of the scenes. It must be one of the widest-ranging films imaginable in the sense of having a very pessimistic vision, yet couching it in the most amusing terms. Some aspects of the plot are brought to a nightmarish conclusion, and no one seems to escape unscathed. The way this is done so systematically left me feeling slightly cheated, given that it is a comedy, and it could be seen as somewhat misanthropic. There's no obvious generosity towards the characters, who appear misguided and largely self-centred, so the tone seems even a little brittle in its willed breeziness. I prefer the full-on bleakness of Cassandra's Dream, which seems to have more soul. Nevertheless it is another piece of the puzzle that Allen's oeuvre can be seen as, with every film somehow staking out a new aspect of his vision. The mixture of elements here is unprecedented ... it also boasts superb performances all round. It would be a pity to single any of them out, although maybe Naomi Watts should be mentioned for breathing a warmer quality into the proceedings, even if her character also has her less dignified moments; her patience and grace - except under extreme fire - do make you feel that not all is lost, quite ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty, 31 Oct 2011
By 
maximus (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I'm a big fan of Woody Allen's and I have enjoyed most of his movies. There have been a handful which I didn't take to, but this one is definitely in the enjoyable group for me. Quite a lot of chuckle moments and some genuine heartfelt as well as the cutting irony ever present in Allen's story telling.

I also felt that compared to his other London films, it has a better script and quite a lot of natural charm and wit from the superior cast. Hard to pick favourites but most notable for me were Naomi Watts, Lucy Punch, Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones.

The London setting is quite low key, so I didn't find I got distracted by familiarity, and the only gripe I have is that the main music was a little random in terms of fit, the jazz clarinet which I love) didn't quite fit with the capital (more suited to his American settings) and the Mozart serenade clips, though gorgeous & substantially bright, were at the other extreme and again not quite fitting the mood nor story.

Overall, a delightful film, not quite a classic but enough memorable moments and for me one of my DVDs that I will go back to and watch again.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still searching, 5 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. Alan Fresco "Cabbie Al" (Green Badge Valley) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I am not a film buff in any way, but like anyone who goes to the cinema, I guess they want to settle down and watch the film of their choice with a level of excited anticipation. That's how I felt when I slid the DVD into my laptop, selected 'full screen' and watched the cab pull up in an East End street (being a London cabbie, I look out for those bits in a film, especially more recent Woody Allen films, they sort of link me more into the plot). There are lots of streets to tax my 'knowledge' and my enlarged 'hippocampus'.
The streets are beautifully shot; the characters are wonderfully portrayed, Anthony Hopkins with just a hint of Hannibal Lecter trying to get out; Antonio Banderas suitably suave; Gemma Jones delightfully dotty - wonderful Woody interlinking of characters and plot....but the denouement....disappointing.
Having said all that, I did still enjoy You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger but I think he may have passed me by?
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody's best film in 21 years!!! (And I'm no Woody sycophant!), 6 Sep 2011
By 
K. J. Greenland "kevinthegerbil" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Boy, can I criticise a Woody film if I think it deserves to be criticised. This, in my opinion, is a truely flawless film from Woody; his best since Crimes and Misdemeanors in 1989.

It has typical Woodyworld themes; failed or failing marriages, extra-marital affairs, neurotic older men going after younger women, hilariously common prostitutes, dotty older women and the supernatural.

I won't give away any of the plot but the film centres around the marriages of Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin, and Naomi's parents' Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones.

Are the baddies rewarded or punished in the end? Are the goodies (and there's only one!) happy or downright suicidal at the end of the film? Think of Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point and, well for me anyway, you see the whole purpose of the film.

Yes of course the situations are not realistic but Woody does live in Woodyworld and who cares about that?

It's a delightful, subtle and at times hilariously funny romantic comedy. Anthony and Gemma are particularly superb.

FLAWLESS!!!
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