Woody Allen’s delayed movie is too soggy to be a classic.
Woody Allen’s new movie “A Rainy Day in New York” has been delayed, because of the sexual allegations aimed against him when his adoptive daughter accused him of molesting her when she was 7. The #MeToo organization got word of this, and the stars of the movie, Timothee Chalamet, Selena Gomez, and Rebecca Hall, have donated money to various organizations like RAINN, Time’s Up, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, in response to the allegations.
After this blew over, the movie finally found an American release date, but you’re not missing much. It’s has some swell performances, but the script ends up getting wet. When the allegations went out, and the movie got pushed back, I could tell it wouldn’t be as exhilarating as “Annie Hall,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Midnight in Paris,” or “Blue Jasmine.”
We meet the young couple, Gatsby Wells (Chalamet) and Ashleigh Enright (Elle Fanning), at Yardley College in Upstate New York. Gatsby is a gambler who just scored $20,000, while Ashleigh is a journalist for her school paper who just scored an interview with filmmaker Roland Pollard (Liev Schreiber) in Manhattan. They both take the trip, which becomes rainy and complicated. In fact, it pours so much, and since Allen uses classic songs in his flicks, I was expecting for the “Winnie the Pooh” song “Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down” to play.
Roland invites Ashleigh to a screening of his latest entry, written by Ted Davidoff (Jude Law). He’s in the middle of a crisis, and loathes the movie so much that he walks out. While Ashleigh and Ted drive around looking for him, the writer discovers that his wife (Hall) maybe having an affair with his best friend. And she comes across the famous actor Francisco Vega (Diego Luna), who invites her for dinner and a drink.
The interview was supposed to be an hour, and Gatsby had big plans for his girlfriend afterwards. But when she constantly tells him she’s backed up and can’t talk about it on the phone, he’s on his own. This is so typical of a romantic comedy.
He then comes to a movie set and meets Chen Tyrell (Gomez), the sister of his ex-girlfriend, and the both of them film a kissing scene. His engaged brother Hunter (Will Rogers) starts to have cold feet, because he can’t stand his fiancee’s (Annaleigh Ashford) laugh. When he leaves his brother’s apartment, he shares a cab with Chen, and they head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And after he begins to drink his sorrows, he hires an escort (Kelly Rohrbach) to play his girlfriend at his mother’s (Cherry Jones) gala. I think the script got soaked in the rain and tainted the ink. That’s probably why I’m complaining about this story.
“A Rainy Day in New York” has charming performances from Chalamet, Fanning, Gomez, and Luna, based on how they present their dialogue and personalities. Allen guides them very well, but he doesn’t do it with the kind of classic spark he usually provides in his characters. They also have to be part of a confusing script, one that deals with one situation after the next with very little pay-off. It also thinks it can solve their problems, by having the characters drink their sorrows away, like when we get that party when when Ashleigh reunites respectively with Roland and Ted. It’s flat the way it’s presented.
This story practically takes place in one day, and I’m usually fasciated by these kinds of comedies, but only if they introduced us to colorful characters and allow us to ease into the situations. This may look like I’m spoiling the movie, but I need to explain to you how wet this script is. Besides I’m doing you a favor by saving you time to focus on more on better Woody Allen classics, among many other movies.
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