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Autumn in New York

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Autumn in New York

Starring: Richard Gere, Winona Ryder
Director: Joan Chen
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: August 2000
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Anthony LaPaglia, Elaine Stritch, Mary Beth Hurt

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
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5.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review ---

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

When M.G.M. refused to screen this tear-jerking May-December romance for critics, it was an ominous sign because studios usually hide the star-laden stinkers, hoping to get at least one solid weekend before reviews come out. But it's not that bad. It's also not that good. Richard Gere plays a 48 year-old, hotshot Manhattan restaurateur with a reputation as a notorious womanizer and whose picture is on the cover of NEW YORK magazine. Winona Ryder is a giggly, free-spirited, Emily Dickinson-quoting, 22 year-old millinery designer who informs him, shortly after their affair begins, that she's suffering from an extremely rare and probably terminal tumor which affects her heart. So is it going to be the "Love Story" of the millennium year? Probably not. Heavy-handed screenwriter Allison Burnett is no Erich Segal. First of all, too much is made of the age difference. In fact, according to her cackling grandmother (Elaine Stritch), Gere even dated Ryder's late mother. Plus, he has an illegitimate daughter (Vera Farmiga) who is Ryder's age, and bartender (Anthony La Paglia) keeps warning him. Even Ryder bluntly quips, "You've got to look on the bright side. In a year or so, I'll be this sob story you can use to bag more chicks." Then there's the soggy dialogue: "We have no future. All I have to offer you is this - until it's over" and "What should we do with this moment we're in?" On the other hand, director Joan Chen and cinematographer Changwei Gu create such intoxicatingly beautiful visuals that you forget they're cliche-ridden - like the closer you come to dying, the more luminous and beautiful you become. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Autumn in New York" is a sentimental, predictable, melodramatic 4, but this glossy, two-hankie weeper at least deserved to find its niche.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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