I guess I should preface my thoughts on ‘A Rainy Day In New York,’ by commenting on the allegations on Woody Allen, who directed this film. While all things point to him being a flawed person, his artistry has always impressed me. I remember being young and watching his movies abut Manhattan, and walking those same streets, and thinking, ‘he gets what I want New York to be,’ which is probably what the ideal New York is for hi – classy, filled with interesting off the beaten path places, and soundtracked by songs from the Great American Songbook. Those factors permeate this film, and I am besotted by it. While I wish people would separate artistry from the lives of people, I also understand ‘cancel culture.’ But what can I do, I liked this film.
It probably helps that it stars Timothee Chalamet doing a role that suits him very well – the nebbish New Yorker who finds rainy days romantic, and is comfortable playing the piano at The Carlysle singing ‘Everything Happens To Me,’ I mean, really is there a more ideal version of Chalamet for me? He is great here, essaying a typical Woody Allen hero. IT’s sweet and charming and old fashioned and I am in love with him in it. And I also thought Selena Gomez was fine – sassy and perfect for Chalamet’s Gatsby, and their chemistry was sizzling – Elle Fanning was saddled with the less interesting role, in my opinion. And the great Cherry Jones does a wonderful scene towards the end that is worth any price of admission.
But there are some problems – the set up was a little awkward, and some of the situations forced, but those were easily overshadowed by the performances. And there is still that young woman older man thing that could be troubling, even in the Chalamet/Gomez pairing – his character used to date her character’s older sister.
I think it’s sad that this doesn’t have US distribution (Amazon refuses to release it) because while it’s not nearly the best of Allen’s work, it is fine enough, and it reminds me of a new York I once loved. It doesn’t exist anymore, of course, but once in a while it gets recaptured, and if only for that, I thank Woody Allen.