You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Rated 2.0

Woody Allen has become the cinematic equivalent of an aging nostalgia rocker, refusing to fade away even as his output has become a bland copy of his greatest-hits collection (think Rod Stewart or Pete Townshend in fishing hats and slacks). The leisurely yawner You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger takes place in London, but it’s the same classic Allen concoction of yuppie neuroses, moral angst, artistic pretensions and sexual infidelity. What makes this and the rest of Allen’s recent films depressing is the sitcom-grade mise-en-scène, the roulette casting (Naomi Watts, Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas this time), the over-reliance on gimmicks (once again, a psychic figures heavily) and the complete lack of comic or narrative inspiration. It briefly seems like Josh Brolin might break out, since his gruff style is so antithetic to Allen’s now-banal wordplay, but he too succumbs to the monotony.