Volume 20, Number 45 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 3 - 9, 2010
Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (-)
Like every Woody Allen cult fan, I have seen all his movies. I’ll continue to do so although, regrettably, it appears his days of making great films are over.
In his latest effort, more than a half-dozen people are involved in intimate relationships — but none of those interactions were profound enough to affect my emotions. Although the cast includes outstanding actors, their abilities are not displayed in this movie.
Roy (Josh Brolin) is a failed novelist married to Sally (Naomi Watts). Sally is the daughter of Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) — who divorced Helena (Gemma Jones). Alfie is looking for sexual excitement, which he seems to have found in Charmaine (Lucy Punch), a former prostitute whom he marries. The actor who made the least impression on me was Antonio Banderas in the role of Greg (Sally’s boss).
As I have written before when reviewing Allen’s movies, I had the pleasure of appearing in his terrific contribution to the 1989 trilogy “New York Stories” (in which I played myself as mayor at the time). Woody and I have grown old together and, I believe, have reached our career heights at the same time — although he is 75 and I am 85. Statistically, 50 percent of Americans over the age of 85 suffer from some form of dementia, the worst being the degenerative Alzheimer’s. We are fortunate in that neither of us is suffering from dementia. We continue to enjoy our work and are capable of performing our professions. His bad films outshine the best of many noted filmmakers, and I hope my reviews and commentaries continue to interest my readers.
I saw the picture at the Angelika Film Center & Café.
Henry Stern said: “I too have been a Woody Allen fan for years. He has basically written and directed a film every year since 1969, sometimes two. His movies were considered New York chic, often based on psychoanalysis, and appealed to the crowd that used to go to the New Yorker and Thalia theaters. I like those people. They elected me to the City Council in 1973 and 1977. We are all getting older and perhaps less demanding, but I rather liked “Tall Dark Stranger” — except for the off-putting title, which is unwieldy. The movie was lively, the players were very good. The plot was ridiculous, but so are most operas (that’s not why you see them). I enjoyed the London scenery and the characters’ combination of stodginess and absurdity. For me, the movie ended too soon.”
Currently playing at the Angelika Film Center & Café (18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St.). Rated R. Running Time: 108 minutes.