Movie review: A Rainy Day In New York
A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK
Premieres Oct 10 at 9pm on Fox Movies (StarHub TV Ch 622/Singtel TV Ch 414)
It's been stormy weather for Woody Allen's most recent film, ever since the writer-director was targeted by the Me Too movement in 2018, leading to renewed public interest in the decades-old sexual abuse allegations made against him by his daughter Dylan Farrow.
A Rainy Day In New York became an instant casualty.
Release plans were shelved and it was subsequently dropped like a hot potato, while Allen himself became a Hollywood pariah almost overnight.
Several cast members, including leading man Timothee Chalamet, expressed regret working with him and even donated their salaries to anti-sexual-assault organisations.
Well, the beleaguered rom-com is finally here on cable TV. And the forecast isn't exactly sunny.
It centres on Gatsby Welles (Chalamet) and his journalism major girlfriend Ashleigh (Elle Fanning), as the young college sweethearts travel to New York City for a romantic weekend trip, where she is also slated to interview a famous film director (Liev Schreiber).
However, their plans are dashed as quickly as the sunshine turns into showers in the Big Apple.
Ashleigh is swept up by the temptations of the movie business and ends up being propositioned by no less than three men, leaving a despondent Gatsby in the lurch as he reconnects with a childhood acquaintance (Selena Gomez) and his estranged mother (Cherry Jones).
The film features Allen's youngest cast to date - the central trio are in their 20s and very watchable - and the typical Allenian antihero is played by someone who looks like he belongs in a boy band.
But precisely because of the characters' youth, you never fully buy Allen's signature dialogue coming out of their mouths, so the results ring a little forced and false.
A Rainy Day In New York is a wisp of a film, so lightweight it almost flies away at times, and is yet another reminder that Allen's best work is long behind us. One also wonders if his reputation will ever be salvaged and whether he will work in this town again.
Till then, he just needs to come up with less ordinary movies. - JEANMARIE TAN - 2.5 Ticks