April 3, 2014

Reviews in Retrograde: Autumn in New York

Critical Outcast isn't my first attempt at a website, I had a few stutter steps in the late 1990's and early 2000's. These attempts generated a whole bunch of poorly written, often very short and spoilerific reviews. I recently stumbled upon them in my archives and thought you may be interested in seeing some of these early attempts at writing. They are as they were then, I make no apologies for how bad or how short they are. Feel free to have at them with reckless abandon! I present to you: Reviews in Retrograde.

A May-December romance. He's 48, on the cover of New York magazine, an upscale restaurateur, and a womanizer who rejects ideas of love. She's 22, living with her grandmother, artistic, facing a tumor that's life-threatening, which she tells him about the morning after their first night, when he tells her not to expect permanence from him. Will finds Charlotte unprecedented and unpredictable, and experiences feelings of love, but she packs him off when he's casually unfaithful. He's stung, and he's also flummoxed by the appearance of a young woman from his past. Can he convince Charlotte to take him back, and can he help her through her illness and change his irresponsible ways?

What a dull movie, it just dragged on and on. Nothing of any real interest happened. In addition to that the characters were thoroughly unconvincing. The only real redeeming quality were some beautiful shots of, what else, autumn in New York. Sadly, that alone cannot save this clunker of a tearjerker.

This is the story of Will, a womanizing restaurantuer, who for some unknown reason falls head over heels for Charlotte, who has a heart condition and is young enough to be his daughter. It falls along predictable lines, you know, guy meets girl, guy and girl fall in love, guy screws up, guy wins back girl only to wind up losing her again to some tragedy. The story is typical, the acting is below the standards that the stars had set for themselves in previous movies, the dialogue is trite, and overall very unconvincing.

I've never been much of a Richard Gere fan, but I believe that he is much better than what we see in this movie. He has no charisma here, and that is what should be driving the womanizing character, instead what we get is a flat dull shell that doesn't inspire us to any reaction to his antics. As far as Winona Ryder, I kept wondering what she was thinking when she signed on to make this thing. It was a waste of her talent, I just didn't buy into her character, it just didn't seem like her, giggling like a little schoolgirl, it just seemed unnatural.

The entire movie builds to its inevitable finish, never giving us any twists and turns. there isn't anything to make us want to keep watching. I finished it mainly because I like to finish what I start, not out of any genuine interest in the movie itself. This movie doesn't even seem to try. They just put it out there for unwary public consumption.

The studio was right not to preview this movie for critics when it was released, it such standard fare, and not even very entertaining that it probably would have gotten ripped apart. I guess it's better to just worry about word of mouth at first, right? Let's not try to make a quality movie, lets just put a bunch of recognizable faces together and hope to make a few bucks? But whatever, it's a throwaway movie, there are other much better movies in this genre. My personal recommendation for a movie that is in this realm, only much, much better, is Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah.

Not very entertaining, on the boring side, with uninspired dialogue and dull characters. Recommendation to Avoid.

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