Like most writers, I have a sick fascination with movies about writers and the publishing industry. Such films don’t exactly abound, but usually a few hit the market each year. Most of them suck; most get everything wrong about the mindset of a writer, not to mention the time-frame, process, and industry. Worse, the books within the movie are most often breathtakingly bad and almost without fail they are as pretentious as their authors.
You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger is an exception. It’s directed by a shitty dude who knows his way around art, film, literature, and film, so he got all the little things right, from self-sabotage to boundless wells of envy to the sickening grind of the publishing establishment. It’s cynical, ironic, and funny. Too bad it comes from the hands of such a perv who needs to be caught up in the red tide of #metoo.
In this particular treatment, Josh Brolin is the writer. He steals his comatose friend’s manuscript and passes it off on his own. Hijinks ensue. It’s a good run, but like all Allen tragedies, yarn binds up in the wheels of karma and all good things come to a halt.
It’s way too short a film, and it’s an unsatisfying one, but for writer’s it’s a guilty indulgence.
7/10 ink blots.