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Rainy Day in New York, A


Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Liev Schreiber, Diego Luna, Jude Law, Selena Gomez, Rebecca Hall, Cherry Jones, Will Rogers, Kelly Rohrbach

Director: Woody Allen

The director's back in his beloved New York and this could almost be Manhattan or Annie Hall with most of the joy removed. Like most of Allen's work, there are a good few one-line chuckles, some almost too swift to grasp. But one of the film's problems is that its two leading characters are so alienating.

They're two rich kids in their last year at university. Chalamet's Gatsby Welles - a name only Allen could invent - is consciously uncoupled from his parents, drifting through uni and only good at two things - playing the piano (it's dubbed) and playing poker - he always wins, and big. Airhead girlfriend Ashleigh (Fanning), full of meaningless gushing, has ambitions to be a journalist, and is stunned to be granted an interview with a film director (Schreiber) in New York. Both are superficially cynical and saying anything to make an impression. And there's a lot of both of them in this picture.

Gatsby fills the considerable space in Ashleigh's head with references to classic films and directors so that she can impress at her interview, which she does, and soon finds herself on an emotional rollercoaster through the city, where the director, his writer (Law) and a Latino film star (Luna) all have ambitions to get her between the sheets (and not of her notebook).

A dampened and dispirited Gatsby meanwhile re-connects with some old chums, including the younger sister (Gomez) of Amy, the girl he used to date. 'Can you believe it?' says Gomez. 'She's a political science major now. Well! Amy never heard the news that Lincoln was shot.'

Chalamet has the task of sounding like a young Woody Allen, but he hasn't the Master's comical bewilderment. Even so, Allen enthusiasts will probably quite like this Manhattan cocktail, even with such distinguished players as Jones and Hall in for just the one scene.

Available on all major digital platforms.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Signature. Technicolor.
93 minutes. Not widescreen (2 x 1). UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Nov 2020