Autumn In New York

"Weak"

Autumn In New York Review


In "Autumn In New York," terminally tumor-bound Winona Ryder and her seriously senior lover Richard Gere have a whole conversation about what it means to be "unique" as opposed to "typical."

Oh, the irony.

An utterly typical movie lacking even a hint of uniqueness, "Autumn" is a Hallmark card redeaux of the "Love Story"-style tragic romance with a September-May twist.

The plot: Aging habitual playboy and rich restaurateur Will Keane (Gere) meets freshly-22 Charlotte Fielding (Ryder) and finally discovers a love that may break him of his wandering ways -- just as she is about to exit stage left courtesy of an incurable, vaguely cancerous heart condition, the only symptom of which is that she gets more beautiful the more her health deteriorates.

The problems: Where to start?

1) Aside from being given quirky character traits (Ryder designs hats), there's nothing distinguishing about either of these depth-deprived characters, and certainly nothing to indicate why sometimes naive young Charlotte should be anything more to Will than another opportunity for a cradle-robbing fling.

2) The music-swelling moments depend on the misogynistic Hollywood notion that women should forgive men for being lying, philandering dogs. Claiming to be in love but unable to help himself, and knowing full well Charlotte is dying, Will still screws an ex-girlfriend at a Halloween party (he wears a dog costume -- get it?).

Aww, ain't it sweet when selfish womanizers are redeemed? Honestly ladies, does this sort of thing really appeal to you?

3) Making Will even less appealing (save his looks and disarming charisma), we learn that in his youth he romanced Charlotte's long-dead mother and that he's an absentee father.

4) The dialogue is just awful. Besides gratuitously quoting poetry to each other while walking among golden leaves in Central Park (and, of course, on her death bed), the actors are forced to labor through such laughable lines as: "Love is not a race," "You don't dance, you float" and other whoppers no sensible girl would buy for a second.

I could go on, but "Autumn In New York" is so formulaic, common and shallow it's hardly worth the effort.

To be fair, the picture isn't a disaster by any stretch of the imagination. The leads share a pert and charming chemistry together, it's nothing if not handsome ("Farewell My Concubine" cinematographer Changwei Gu makes Manhattan look more magical than it has in probably 30 years), and actress-turned-director Joan Chen obviously has no delusions about the fact that she's a hired hand cranking out soft-focus shash. For what it's worth, "Autumn" is well directed.

But having seen "Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl," Chen's daring, accomplished and deeply moving Chinese-language directorial debut -- a labor of love shot clandestinely in China that resulted in her banishment from the country -- I can't help but be disappointed that she would even sign on to a movie this weightless and cloying.

"Autumn In New York" plays like every reel has been dipped in heavy syrup before it was loaded onto the projector.



Autumn In New York

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th August 2000

Budget: $65M

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lakeshore Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 56

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Will Keane, as Charlotte Fielding, as John Volpe, as Dolores "Dolly" Talbot, as Lisa, as Sarah, as Lynn

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.