Gatsby (Timothēe Chalamet) is a rich, pseudo intellectual actor who’s spending the weekend with his girlfriend, Ashleigh (Elle Fanning). Ashleigh is an opportunistic journalist who gets the chance to interview one of her idols, director Roaland Pollard (Liev Schrieber).
Whilst Gatsby is out filming a scene with his co-star, Chan (Selena Gomez) Ashleigh is invited to watch Pollard’s latest masterpiece and so starts the troubles in Gatsby and Ashleigh’s relationship.
A Rainy Day in New York is Woody Allen’s latest movie, postponed from 2017’s release due to allegations about his misconduct. So, fans of Allen’s work have been tentatively waiting to see if the wait was worth it, while the rest of the world (including the movie’s cast) have sensibly distanced themselves from Allen and his work. Frankly, even for those fans still hanging on Allen’s every word, it wasn’t worth the wait.
There are several problems with A Rainy Day in New York and not just because of the allegations now surrounding Woody Allen. The problem seems to be that the once renowned director has run out of ideas. A Rainy Day in New York riffs off of Allen’s more successful work in his heyday and what’s left is a pale imitation.
Add to that the incredibly dated characters and scenarios that they find themselves in, and it all feels like a filmmaker desperately trying to remind an audience why they loved him in the first place. Only for the fans that are still left to wonder where it was that he lost his touch.
If any members of the audience can separate the artist from the movie and try to enjoy the film, it’s clear that Allen cannot. Having been known to write characters that are closely based on his public persona, Gatsby is just another Allen clone and despite Chalamet’s talent as an actor, the audience won’t be able to stop feeling like this is the filmmaker talking through his characters rather than creating someone they can connect with.
Unfortunately, there’s not even a single well written female character in the cast. From Ashleigh, the flighty journalist willing to do anything debasing to get a story, to the sex workers that appear more than once. There’s even the cheating wife thrown in for good measure. Although this cannot take away from the talent of Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall, Selena Gomez and Cherry Jones as they have so little to work with.
For those wishing to watch something that takes their minds off how troubling the world is these days, A Rainy Day in New York is only going to make your blood boil over.
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