Autumn In New York (2000)
Main cast: Richard Gere (Will Keane), and Winona Ryder (Charlotte Fielding)
Director: Joan Chen

He's a senior womanizer who looks just like the womanizer in Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and... well, everything else Richard Gere is in. She's a dying woman who has only a short time to live. He knows her mother, slowly falls for her, and that's it.

Autumn In New York tries to be a modern Edith Whartonian tale of the rich and pompous, judging from the sets, the rich people, the witty senior citizens, and the attempts at lyricism that come off as cloying, alas. Unfortunately, this whole movie is absolutely ruined by the slow, sluggish pace and the two main characters' uninspired acting and absolute lack of chemistry. Winona Ryder seems to be taking the dying waif act a bit too much to heart, her Charlotte becoming more ornamental as the minutes drag into hours. And this Charlotte displays none of the cunning of the character played by the actress in Wharton adaptation The Age Of Innocence. And Will Keane is so bland and dull - he seems as if he knows that he is just a character and thus never attempts to rise to someone I can emphatize with.

The secondary cast fare better. Anthony LaPaglia, Elaine Stritch, and Vera Farmiga as the buddy, the granny, and the daughter respectively try so hard with their two-dimensional personalities to bring life to this slow, pretty, but quite lacklustre movie. But this isn't their movie, unfortunately. It's Will and Charlotte's love story, and what a boring, contrived love story it is. It also doesn't help that the people in AINY don't seem to have jobs or at least one that can put money at the table. Surrounded by so much ritzy lights and decadent wealth, AINY ends up taking the luster of a movie about too-rich, too-bored people trying to pretend that they have lives. Who are they trying to fool?

Rating: 50

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