There was a quite a talk about this movie before it came out. A director almost forgotten by time and the best actors of their respective generations could offer. Not to mention that it didn’t even premiere in the United States (even though the setting was in America). This is following the whole controversy of Amazon Studios terminating their contract with the director. This film gathered quite the curiosity, although it turned out to be a 92-minute let-down.
Casting Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) and Elle Fanning (Maleficent), two amazing actors that did good for their films, couldn’t save this drag of a film. Allen has yet again, recreated the genres of his previous work, but this film has got to be the one that is messy and completely off of the period it was trying to portray. The main characters of this story were supposedly Gen Y/Z in 2019, however the way they behaved gave more of a 1950’s sort of feel.
Chalamet plays the role of a typical stoic rich kid attending Yardley College. He is then dating the journalism major Ashleigh (Elle Fanning), because this is probably the only thing women should be studying. While Gatsby portrays your handsome lost boy of the decade, Ashleigh is that driven wealthy pageant brat that will most likely use her ever reliable love for journalism to save what is left of Pollard (Liev Schreiber), a director who she went to Manhattan to interview.
This ruins Gatsby’s weekend routine of living the life of a typical wealthy child trying to avoid his mother’s annoying comments. Meanwhile, Ashleigh goes off to some business involving the screenwriter of the film (Jude Law), his fickle wife (Rebecca Hall), and a hunk of a heartthrob (Diego Luna) which is the last to complete the love triangle of men pinning over her. All of this while Gatsby ends up going around the streets of Manhattan and somehow stars in his friend’s short film where he has to kiss Shannon (Selena Gomez), his ex’s little sister.
Surprisingly, Gomez turned out to be one of the better things in this film catching the amusing lines. Other than that, this is where the draggy jokes and lines that are thrown cannot be picked up at all. Most of these, at the expense of the film’s women. However, this is just the surface of what makes this film a disappointment. The side characters are underdeveloped, it definitely is a rainy day outside but somehow the windows still have sunshine to let in, and a lack of understanding of basic blockings of a set, resulting in messy looking scenes with too many actors that just can’t seem to interact with each other properly.
In the end, Fanning’s role just becomes frustrating when she can be so much of a character but was left aside to what other characters would do with her. It was like being thrown around with no one to catch her at the end. As if they were intentionally avoiding giving her any sort of characterization. Even when she was the subject of the scene (or the whole movie), there wasn’t much to see in Ashleigh.
It’s definitely clear that Allen had butchered the millennial generation he tried on captivating and how he awfully portrayed the women from his previous works. These being the beautiful, wonderful, and passionate women of American film. He somehow had this ridiculous vision of a romance that obviously didn’t work. As an end to this sticky ride of a film, “A Rainy Day in New York” is like wet socks you have to keep on until you get home; frustrating and helpless.