Autumn in New York (2000)

There’s something profoundly yucky about this May-December romance between womanizing restaurateur Richard Gere and girlish hat designer Winona Ryder. It’s not the age difference, although it is significant, with a nearly-three decade gap between the two. What makes their pairing so icky is that his character dated her late mother, while she herself is currently facing a terminal diagnosis. It’s all just so distasteful, not to mention how misogynistic Gere’s character behaves with Ryder, while director Joan Chen and screenwriter Allison Burnett work overtime to convince the audience that this pairing is somehow equal and not problematic. Gere and Ryder do the best they can but Burnett’s screenplay works overtime to feed them stiff, groan inducing dialogue while Chen overcompensates with the visual decor to distract from the dearth of dramatic energy. It’s a rare romance that will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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