YOU won’t meet a tall, dark stranger in this London-set comedy of romantic errors because the titular man of mystery never appears.
Indeed, the failure to deliver on promises is indicative of this blundering yarn: no big laughs, no well-drawn characters, no satisfying resolution to emotional turmoil which almost tears two marriages apart.
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger opens with a short burst of “When You Wish Upon A Star”, a twee prelude to the betrayals of unhappily married Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones), their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and her novelist husband Roy (Josh Brolin).
While Alfie has a mid-life crisis and abandons Helena for gold-digging ditz Charmaine (Lucy Punch), his wife seeks guidance from a bogus clairvoyant (Pauline Collins).
“I’m seeing a handsome stranger coming into your life,” she blathers.
Helena swallows every word and is delighted when she meets Jonathan (Roger Ashton-Griffiths).
However, Jonathan is still infatuated with his dead wife and Helena must somehow compete with the memory of the dearly departed.
Elsewhere, Sally contemplates a steamy affair with her boss Greg (Antonio Banderas) and is completely oblivious to Roy’s attempts to cure a nasty bout of writer’s block by pursuing sexy muse, Dia (Freida Pinto).
You Will Meet... completes a fruitless sojourn in London, once again squandering the talents of a top-notch cast. Watts and Brolin are lacklustre while inveterate scene-stealer Hopkins watches forlornly as Punch pinches the best lines.