You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is a 2010 comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. It features Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Lucy Punch, Antonio Banderas, Anna Friel, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, and Freida Pinto.
Alfie (Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones) divorce. Helena begins seeing a fortune teller named Cristal (Pauline Collins) for spiritual advice. Their daughter Sally (Watts) has a troubled marriage with author Roy (Brolin), who once wrote a successful book, and is now anxiously waiting for response from his publisher about the manuscript of his newest one. Helena helps pay their rent.
Alfie marries a prostitute, Charmaine (Punch). Roy falls for Dia (Pinto), a musicologist he sees through a window near his and Sally's flat, who is engaged to another man. Sally considers having an affair with Greg (Banderas), her new boss at an art gallery who she confesses she has feelings for. However, Greg confesses he is having trouble at home and eventually it turns out he is having an affair with Iris (Friel), Sally's protégée. Helena begins a friendship with Jonathan (Ashton-Griffiths), the keeper of an occult bookshop, which develops into romance. All of this sets up everyone for a rude awakening.
This film features examples of:
- Cheaters Never Prosper: After Roy's book is rejected, he hears that a friend, who is also a writer, has died in an accident, and of whom only Roy knows that he had just finished a manuscript that he had not shown to anyone else yet. Roy steals it and claims it is his work, and it is well received. Then Roy is informed that there was a mix-up of the people killed in the accident and that the friend whose manuscript he stole is actually in coma and recovering…
- Fortune Teller: After Alfie and Helena divorce, Helena begins seeing a fortune teller, Cristal, for spiritual advice.
- Latin Lover: Greg Clemente, Sally's new boss at an art gallery, played by Antonio Banderas. Sally considers having an affair with him, but it turns out he is having an affair with Iris, Sally's protégée.
- Love at First Sight: Roy falls for Dia after only seeing her through a window near his and Sally's flat.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: After Alfie gets into a fight with Charmaine over her high expenses, Charmaine has sex with another man and gets pregnant. Alfie gets suspicious and wants a DNA test to discover whether he is the father, but Charmaine manages to argue that his paternity is irrelevant.
- Plagiarism in Fiction: After Roy's book is rejected, he hears that Henry, a friend of his who is also a writer, has died in an accident. Given that Henry had just finished a brilliant manuscript he had shown only to Roy, Roy decides to steal it and claim it as his work, and it is well received. Unfortunately for Roy, he is informed that there was a mix-up of the people killed in the accident and is shocked to hear that Henry is actually in a coma and recovering.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Henry, Roy's friend from which he stole a manuscript from after being informed that he was killed in a car accident, turns out to actually be alive; there was a mix-up of the people killed in the accident.
- Spooky Séance: The film ends with Helena and Jonathan receiving his deceased wife's blessing for the new relationship via a séance.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: The film's title parodies how a stock phrase of fortune tellers is prophesizing that her female customer will meet a tall, dark and handsome stranger.
- Uncertain Doom: Non-fatal example. The audience is told that Roy's friend, who was believed dead and from which Roy stole a manuscript from after his assumed death, is actually alive and recovering, but the audience isn't shown the fallout from this, albeit it can be summarized that it can't be pretty. The fact that the friend is described as being in a coma makes it more ambigious.