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 cheats on her while she’s facing a terminal diagnosis, and also dated her late mother. It’s all just so distasteful, not to mention how misogynistic and condescending Gere’s character behaves towards Ryder, while director Joan Chen and screenwriter Allison Burnett work overtime to convince the audience that this pairing is not problematic. Gere and Ryder do the best they can but Burnett’s screenplay feeds them stiff, groan-inducing dialogue while Chen overcompensates with the visual decor to distract from the dearth of dramatic energy.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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