Film Notes : You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger features many of the same tropes Woody’s previous films except that he never makes that final step into murder most foul. Beginning with a paraphrasing of Macbeth’s “Life…is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” it proceeds to bring everyone to a point where they must choose murder or self abasement. The only exception that ends up happily or as happily as one can in a Woody Allen drama (and sometimes a Woody Allen comedy) is Helena Shebritch, the matriarch in the middle of the maelstrom. Her belief in eternal life, by way of reincarnation, separates her from the soft nihilism pedaled through most of the film and at least shows that Woody understands that the human conditions cannot abide life without meaning.