You Will Meet a Dall Dark Stranger, a Woody Allen film about two couples really. First, the “more mature” couple includes Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Gemma (Helena Shebritch) who have reached a fork in their long marriage and it is Alfie that decides it’s time for a change. He leaves Gemma for a young girl who happens to be a prostitute. The aftermath of the divorce leaves Gemma grasping at straws so she seeks support and refuge through a fortuneteller who takes Gemma’s money and tells her all will be well...
The second couple consists of Gemma’s daughter Sally(Naomi Watts) and husband Roy (Josh Brolin). Both have established careers, she as an art gallery representative, and he as a writer. The struggle of their marriage is the constant let up and let down of trying to conceive a baby. After months of failed attempts, the stress makes both of them on edge and they wind up seeking refuge in the arms of another. Both couples wanting to be happy and all four are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve it.
You might be wondering, as I was, what the title means. After seeing the movie I figured it was a play on words by Gemma’s fortune teller, she seemed to have all of the answers after all. But after doing a bit of research I discovered that the meaning behind the title as Allen meant it, was that each character in the film is dealing with some “dark struggle” or some “tall dark struggle” as it applies here. And the whole point of the movie is to see how each character is willing to go to extreme lengths to find happiness despite their “struggle”. Clever right?
Well, that’s the only positive note that I’ll hand over to Mr. Woody Allen because the rest of the film had me red in the face and smoke and fumes coming out of my ears!!! I couldn’t believe that someone would make a film all about cheating and call it a comedy. In fact the only person that doesn’t cheat is Gemma but she’s certifiably insane, as you’ll see by the end of the film. Not only was there cheating, in every direction, even from the supporting roles, but their was no emotion behind it. For example, Sally and Roy both knowingly cheat on the other and it’s as if it’s as normal as waking up and brushing your teeth. On top of that, there’s no ending. I mean it, you’ll witness everyone cheating in one way or another and then the film ends. I rewound twice to see if I missed something but nope, nothing. I’m sure it’s Allen’s idea of complete irony or something but I sure didn’t get it! You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger should be categorized as a Tragedy, because that’s exactly what it is!!
Motherly Advice: I had my filters set on medium for You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and I was spared quite a few “f” words (typical Woody Allen style) and some other swear words but I don’t know what happened with my blasphemy setting because it was set on medium but I heard about 20 “JC” expletives. So put this filter on most if you don’t want to hear those. Beyond the swearing I was also spared a couple of sex scenes and some nudity. If I were you, I would skip this one altogether because as a mother I would not want anyone in my family watching a film that expressed the notion that when you are struggling, seek happiness through cheating!
Trisha~ Not a huge Woody Allen fan anyway, but this film took a flying leap OVER the line!