Moviefone caught up with Allen at the Toronto Film Festival, where he nearly split our sides with his candid views on love, aging, and writing screenplays. Woody Allen's romantic dramedy 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger' is at first glance a light and airy comedy about falling in and out of love, but a closer look reveals a sinister edge that follows Allen's view that "men are dogs" and "women are sufferers." His male characters (Anthony Hopkins and Josh Brolin) battle middle age with illicit affairs that only humilate them, and the women (Freida Pinto, Lucy Punch and Gemma Jones) are used and lied to. True to Allen form, however, the tough stuff is delivered with lots of laughs. That split is apparent in our conversation.
Moviefone caught up with Allen at the Toronto Film Festival, where he nearly split our sides with his candid views on love, aging, and writing screenplays.
On how hard it is to write a movie:
Movies, they're all hard to do. None of them is easy. They're all wrapped with anxiety. You know your movie starts off and you're thinking you're going to make 'Citizen Kane' or 'The Bicycle Thief' and you think it's going to be the greatest thing the world has ever seen. And then when you're cutting it together, you just hope people will sit thought it, and all your lofty ideas about those films your felt you were going to make, you find yourself compromising, and you put the end scene in the front, and cutting characters put in a narration, and you're just fighting for survival! So any film is tough. I think the only time I had the least of these problems was 'Match Point.' I was unusually lucky. Very atypical, everything just fell into place. But that never really happens. They're all extremely difficult.
On how hard it is to find love:
Certainly since I was in my early 20s I knew that [finding love] is luck. We think we can control it and we think we know what we're doing, but it's largely dependent on luck, and if you're very lucky, you may just have a happy relationship. And if you're unlucky, all logical reasons in the world don't seem to make sense. So you meet somebody, you're attracted to somebody, and the exquisite neurons in the brain mesh properly and things can be wonderful and things are not like homework. You shouldn't have to work at your relationship; it's not like the treadmill. It's pleasurable. But it's hard to hit that jackpot and get lucky. You think that you can control it, but it's not really so.
On how hard aging is:
It gets worse and worse. I see no advantages in age at all. You become shriveled, you become decrepit, you lose your faculties, your peer group passes away, you sit in a room gumming and drooling. I don't see any positives in total annihilation, no hope of resurrection, so it's a bad situation. But as Anthony [Hopkins] said, "It's a joke, but without a punchline!"
It's kind of a nightmare actually, and I find the best thing one can do is to distract yourself. And so you go to the movies, you get involved in a meaningless love affair, and the outcome has no meaning in the grand scheme of the universe. You watch Roger Federer, you do all these things to distract yourself from thinking about the tall dark stranger who's coming to get you, despite all your efforts to eat health foods.
'You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger' opens on Sept. 22, 2010.