YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER

Does anyone expect a Woody Allen film to be any good any more?
Nowadays, you find yourself saying things like, “Well, at least it
wasn't as bad as Melinda and Melinda”. That's the case with this
latest in Allen's “London period”. It's a story of failed marriages
with multiple unhappy endings (and one happy one). What's noticeable
is how sharply the performances differ in quality. Old hand Brits like
split-up couple Gemma Jones and Anthony Hopkins are fun to watch, but
when it comes to the other unhappy couple, Naomi Watts is stiff and
flat of affect, and Josh Brolin's failed novelist character isn't very
interesting. Pauline Collins is solid as the seeress, but despite the
title, there is nothing magical about the movie — nothing, say, like
the Voltan scene in The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Instead, we get
warmed-over Woody, a dull domestic dramedy with a lame comic surprise
that shows how far he's fallen in inspiration. — Jeff Schultz

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