Monday, November 30, 2020

A Rainy Day in New York


Timothée Chalamet plays the Woody Allen archetype and Elle Fanning plays the most annoyingly hyper and ditzy girl imaginable in this laid-back amble through NYC—and they do pretty good job at it. 

It's kinda like if an AI copied Woody Allen. And that's kinda part of the charm.

They go to New York from their upstate college; Elle for business (she landed an interview with a semi-popular artsy filmmaker) and Timothée for pleasure (he loves New York, naturally). They part ways, planning to meet up later. Typical Woody Allen hijinks ensue. Quirky, ponderous monologues are made. The two characters meander from place to place, finding and losing other odd characters played by other famous actors as they get into and out of niche situations. Liev Schreiber, Jude Law, Selena Gomez, Diego Luna, Cherry Jones... It rains. Then an ending place is reached and the credits roll.

It's par for the course on Woody Allen movies. If you always like his style, your mind is made up. If you always dislike his style, likewise. I'm in the middle somewhere. Watching this thing breeze by, it felt meandering and pointless, though not unpleasant. The cast was nice. Even Elle being annoying was intentional and had amusingness in it. Timothée was a little more relaxed into his role than he sometimes is. (It's not a try-hard acting part.) He comes across a little pretentious at first then warms as we follow him through the day. I was lukewarm on it overall. But then the ending shone a different light on preceding events.

This movie is all about the journey, but my taste in entertainment relies (perhaps too much) on destination.

I guess that's the thing about Woody Allen. You know to expect the meandering, the monologues, the old music. What you don't know is whether the plot is going to work for you or not. With a plot as meandering and distracted as this one felt, it seemed capable of going anywhere—until it got to where it was always going. And I have to say, I liked the destination. I liked it so much that my lukewarm feelings have turned into something more substantial. Something more distinctly positive. Something I wouldn't mind wandering through again someday.

I think that's all this minor jaunt was intended to be; I won't bother it for anything more.


  1. I've never seen a Woody Allen movie, but unlike all of the others, I'm mildly interested in this now. Like you I'm usually more focused on there being a destination, but sometimes I completely forget about the journey. Good review!

    1. My favorite of his is Midnight in Paris! But if you're interested this is a nice simple one that's not too crazy. As long as you have patience with it, haha. Thanks!