Gatsby Welles. The protagonist in Woody Allen‘S new movie “A rainy day in New York“Said Gatsby Welles, although it’s a bit generous to refer to” A Rainy Day in New York “as” New “. Boxed after production in 2018, Amazon Studios grabbed it for distribution and then unceremoniously dropped it after Allen tripped over a slide to examine it under the lens of #MeToo in a contemporary way. The picture made the rounds across Europe in the summer of 2019 before it hit American cinemas in October, and now finds a permanent home on Blu-ray, where audiences can be sure to see it before the conclusion of COVID-19.
READ MORE: 2020 Fall Movie Preview: 40 Most Anticipated Movies
Granted, watching bad movies is far preferable to the unpredictable rigors of this novel coronavirus. Grant also that “A Rainy Day in New York” is a very, indeed very bad movie, one of the worst of 2020, one of the worst of 2019 and handy one of the worst of them all. Whether this stuffy, startlingly weak and frustratingly gorgeous splash of oatmeal reads as a self-parody, indeed A director’s parody or superficial Allen fax depends on where you sit. The obvious glamor is disarming. But a film by Vittorio Storaro, attracted by Santo Loquastoand cast with seductive actors in both young and middle ages –Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Diego Luna, Jude Law, and Liev Schreiber– at least should be look pleasing to the eye. “A rainy day in New York” has nothing to offer beneath this beautiful, textured surface.
And again: the protagonist’s name is Gatsby Welles, an instant red flag signaling to viewers that Allen’s worst tendencies as a filmmaker have taken him hostage. Gatsby (Chalamet) goes to school at Yardley College of the Liberal Arts, New York State, where he appears to be just acting and actively sabotaging his potential as a mental illness of New York high society “culture vultures”. Allen writes to him with no inner workings, while Chalemet plays him as a tangle of delusions and neuroses and channels his author as Allen’s on-screen surrogates usually do. When his main journalistic friend Ashleigh (Fanning) is hired to interview the revered independent American filmmaker Roland Pollard (Schreiber) in Manhattan, Gatsby sees an opportunity to turn her hard work into a weekend of schmoozing and tourism.
READ MORE: The Best Movies of 2020 … So Far
Why not? Gatsby’s flush after winning twenty big playing cards recently. He plans an itinerary of NYC destinations in standard edition. He books a hotel with a view of Central Park. He can only dress in a damn tweed jacket. If Gatsby and Ashleigh looked like they belonged together at all, it wouldn’t matter, but Chalamet has chemistry with Fanning, just as oil is hydrophilic. They clash against each other, just as badly, but in a completely different way. Chalamet looks like a lost puppy, as if he would be dizzy reading the script between takes. Fanning puts on her ditz hat and boy, she wearing although she plays Ashleigh to her credit, as Allen writes.
He builds Ashleigh out of misogyny, which assumes that only young women in film journalism get hot, molested, and nervous about the talent. In the absence of any defining properties other than her transplant status (Ashleigh is from Arizona, which is just a low hanging fruit for cheap punch lines), Fanning leans forward. Technically it is “good”; It gives everyone the performance he expects. But the wickedness of Chalamet and Fanning – theirs in particular – confirms the awfulness of Allen’s script. The extent of his writing burdens his leads with the Sisyphus task of making “something” out of “nothing”.
Frankly, Chan (Gomez), Gatsby’s ex-sister, is the next “A Rainy Day in New York” to spin people of flesh and blood from words to pages. She is younger, to anyone’s surprise. While Ashleigh finds herself increasingly in the company of older men, from Roland to Roland’s career associate Ted (Law), who must shower her with laudatory fondness, Gatsby is from a girl younger than him to an unknown number of men fascinated years. There’s a thread here that Allen doesn’t follow that talks about men getting more strenuous than women as they age. Ashleigh is a flake, but she’s got a drive, while Gomez casually commands Chan’s grinning, jaded cool. Gatsby is simply unbearable, Roland and Ted only convince with Schreiber and Law, and so the thread frays.
There’s no “there” – with Gatsby, with Ashleigh, with their relationship, or anything else that calls Allen to “A Rainy Day in New York’s” story of young love and mishap in the metropolis. The film is out of date, more so than most recent works by Anyone, and excruciatingly uncomfortable; he can’t even to make fun of his own terrible jokes because the counter-speeches he writes for Gatsby’s many slides are never more amusing than the bad jokes. Gatsby, sick of the idea of forcibly attending the soiree his parents are holding that night, describes her and her husband as “Farrago of WASP plutocrats.” “A Farrago from WASP plutocrats?” Chan replies. “That sounds like something on the menu in a fusion restaurant.” Allen’s goal is “Borscht Belt Alter Kocker”, but only rises as high as “Who has no more gags?”.
“A Rainy Day in New York” is typical of Allen’s work in many ways: cynicism and narcissism smeared over moral complacency. But is the best all or even just “good” all convincing. It has a backbone. “A Rainy Day in New York” has a lovely, nostalgic glow to it that at least does its audience a favor of viewing the film nicely, but the aesthetic is window dressing and the second rate material is offensive, and that’s all aside from individual viewers Feeling art towards artists. Every Allen picture is a live grenade thrown in the middle of the discourse. But “A Rainy Day in New York” isn’t interesting enough to argue about. It’s just an idiot. [F]
“A Rainy Day in New York” is available now.
REGISTER: Get the most of the playlist in your inbox every day