Review by Sean Boelman
Note: disappointment media's review of this film in no way suggests or implies support of its filmmaker or their unethical actions. We firmly believe in the idea that every individual on a set makes a contribution to the film, and it would be unfair to punish the cast and crew of the film because of the poor decisions made by the filmmaker. It is our goal to evaluate the work of these other artists.
A Rainy Day in New York is a film that is clearly written by an old white man trying to recapture his glory days. And while there may have been a time and a place for stuffy and frequently creepy dialogue performed by bright-eyed and oblivious young actors and actresses in the 1970s, it’s simply excruciating now.
The movie follows a young couple who comes to New York City hoping for a romantic weekend, only for them to be separated on a series of individual adventures that cause them to question the nature of their relationship. One thing that would have helped the film significantly would have been if there had been any reason to care about these lovebirds, but unfortunately, they never seem compatible.
Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning have terrible chemistry together, which is a shame because both of them are such talented actors. Perhaps because of wooden dialogue or maybe due to the fact that the character development is so weak, neither of them is able to bring much emotion out of their roles. And the supporting cast, including Selena Gomez, Liev Schreiber, and Jude Law, among others, can’t do much either.
Even at only ninety minutes, the movie feels much longer than it actually is. A few of the interactions in the film show the potential the individual stories had to be interesting, but in trying to juggle them all, it falls flat. Furthermore, the humor is extremely mean-spirited, poking fun at people rather than getting laughs through wit and charm.
The focus of the movie is largely on the central young couple, but they are far from the most interesting characters in the script. Instead, the story of a visionary director with a self-confidence problem stands out as the more compelling story, yet it disappears almost as soon as it begins.
Arguably more troublesome is the fact that the film is almost entirely shallow. There are some nearly indecipherable philosophical ramblings that lose any of their meaning because they are delivered in a way that comes across as largely inauthentic. Apart from this, the movie is little more than an excuse to see talented actors perform fluff.
Another fatal sin that the film commits is setting itself on a rainy day. The symbolism of this is pretty obvious, but it also results in everything looking and feeling overwhelmingly grey. It’s wholly unpleasant to look at, which is another disappointment given the skill that cinematographer Vittorio Storaro has shown in the past.
A Rainy Day in New York is one of the year’s biggest wastes of potential. There is really no reason to waste time on this unless you are a completionist wanting to round out one of the star’s filmographies, and even then, it may be tarnishing-level material.
A Rainy Day in New York opens in theaters on October 9.