A Rainy Day in New York
|A Rainy Day in New York|
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Edited by||Alisa Lepselter|
|Distributed by||Signature Entertainment|
|Box office||$21.5 million|
A Rainy Day in New York is a 2019 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. It stars Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Diego Luna, and Liev Schreiber. The film follows the romantic exploits of a young college student (Chalamet) on a weekend trip in his hometown of New York City, trying to further bond with his college girlfriend (Fanning) while she is in the city to interview a famous film director (Schreiber).
The film was completed in 2018, but its distributor Amazon Studios halted the release of the film following controversy regarding Allen and the Me Too movement. It was released in Poland on July 26, 2019, with international distributors releasing the film in multiple European, South American, and Asian countries.
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Gatsby Welles is a student at Yardley College and the son of wealthy New York City-based parents. Yardley has no special appeal to him, though he continues to attend because of his girlfriend Ashleigh, who is a rich student from Tucson. Ashleigh is traveling into New York to interview filmmaker Roland Pollard for the college paper. Gatsby tags along to show Ashleigh around the city, planning romantic visits in order to avoid his parents, who are planning an Autumn Gala in the evening. When Ashleigh goes to interview Pollard, he invites her to a screening of his new film, ruining her plans with Gatsby. Instead, he strolls alone through New York, and bumps into a student director friend who asks him to stand in for a missing actor in a test shoot for a screen kiss. Gatsby is surprised the actress turns out to be the younger sister of a previous girlfriend. He enjoys the kiss but tells Chan he is involved with someone. They prepare for a second screen test kiss when prompted by the student director. He attempts to call Ashleigh but gets annoyed when Pollard, his writer Ted Davidoff, and one of his stars keep Ashleigh busy.
Ashleigh's interview continues to last well into the afternoon. Meanwhile, Gatsby runs into Chan again by accident when they both hail a cab in another part of town. She tells Gatsby she used to have a crush on him and refuses to listen to him talk about Ashleigh. His weekend romantic plans with Ashleigh seem further delayed when he calls her, but is told that she is busy and cannot talk. He goes with Chan to her parents' apartment and sings "Everything Happens to Me" by Sinatra on her parents' piano. They discuss their love for New York and agree it is one of the most romantic places on rainy days.
Gatsby and Chan go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they run across his aunt and uncle whom they try to avoid so Gatsby's parents do not discover that he is in town. Meanwhile, Ashleigh hits it off with Francisco Vega, who invites her to his trailer on the set of his new film, and the two later go out for drinks. Gatsby meanwhile goes to a friend's house for a poker game. Gatsby returns back to the hotel, where he sees Ashleigh on the news in town with Vega. He goes to the Carlyle cocktail bar, where he meets Terry, and offers her $5,000 for her company and services.
Ashleigh goes out to another party with her new film star friend, where she reconnects with Pollard and her interview with him. Still smitten with her, Pollard wants her to be his muse for his next film project and to stay with him. She circles back to her new film star friend at the party and appears to continue with her clueless and ceaseless flirting. Back at the Carlyle, Gatsby explains to his pick-up date that he wants her to be a stand-in and impersonate Ashleigh at a family evening party which they were supposed to originally attend together. Separately, Ashleigh and her new film star friend go back to his place in the evening. Ashleigh shares a joint and some drinks with him and they start to undress when his out-of-town girlfriend arrives unexpectedly. He manages to sneak Ashleigh out through a backdoor and tells her to leave even though she is wearing only a raincoat over her bra and panties.
At Gatsby's family party, Gatsby arrives with his fake stand-in for Ashleigh, and his mother soon catches on and sees through the "Ashleigh" impersonation. She throws Terry out of her home and then she confronts Gatsby. His mother says that she herself played the field in her younger days as a hooker and got married through the connections she made that way. She says that is how Gatsby came to get his privileged chances in life, shocking him into silence. Afterwards, Ashleigh finally finds him back at the Carlyle bar drowning his sorrows, and confesses to being drunk and partying. She promises to make up for it the next day so that they can finally try to bond in New York the way they originally planned to do when the trip started. Then she tells him all about her day-long emotional and sexual misadventures. Gatsby wants to return to college immediately. They decide to take a horse-drawn cab ride early the next day in Central Park before leaving. On the ride, Ashleigh mistakes a Cole Porter reference for Shakespeare. Realizing their incompatibility, he abruptly ends their relationship. He walks alone through Central Park until he arrives at Delacorte Clock at the Central Park Zoo and waits. The clock strikes 6 pm, and Chan arrives a few moments later. They remember their kiss for the screen test the day before and decide to see if another kissing session, this time alone in the park, might lead to something new. They begin to make out.
- Timothée Chalamet as Gatsby Welles
- Elle Fanning as Ashleigh Enright
- Selena Gomez as Chan Tyrell
- Jude Law as Ted Davidoff
- Diego Luna as Francisco Vega
- Liev Schreiber as Roland Pollard
- Kelly Rohrbach as Terry
- Annaleigh Ashford as Lily
- Rebecca Hall as Connie Davidoff
- Cherry Jones as Mrs. Welles
- Will Rogers as Hunter Welles
- Suki Waterhouse as Tiffany
- Ben Warheit as Alvin Troller
- Griffin Newman as Josh Loomis
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as Wanda
- Don Stephenson as Bemelmans Bar Waiter
In August 2017, Timothée Chalamet, Selena Gomez, and Elle Fanning joined the cast of Woody Allen's newest film, with Allen directing from a screenplay he wrote. Letty Aronson produced, while Amazon Studios was to distribute it. In October 2017, Allen confirmed the film was titled A Rainy Day in New York. In September 2017, Jude Law, Diego Luna, Liev Schreiber, Annaleigh Ashford, Rebecca Hall, Cherry Jones, Will Rogers, and Kelly Rohrbach joined the cast of the film. In October 2017, Suki Waterhouse joined the cast.
Release and box office
A Rainy Day in New York was released in Poland on July 26, 2019 by Kino Świat. It was additionally released in Lithuania, Greece, Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium, France, Slovakia, Israel, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Latin America and South America throughout Fall 2019. It was released in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2020. In July 2020, it was announced Signature Entertainment would distribute the film in the United States.
During the weekend 8—10 May, the film grossed over $330,000 in South Korea, becoming the highest-grossing film globally during that week. It earned approximately $20.9m.
The film completed post-production in the third quarter of 2018. Amazon shelved the project as being effectively unmarketable, and later dropped the film; thus, 2018 marked the first time an entire calendar year had gone by without a new Woody Allen film since 1981. In February 2019, Allen filed a $68 million lawsuit contesting that Amazon had failed to meet contractual obligations to release the film as originally contracted, alleging the studio had dropped the film for only "vague reasons" and terminated the four-picture contract over "a 25-year-old, baseless allegation". The legal action was seeking minimum guarantee payments for the four films, plus damages and legal fees. In May 2019, it was reported that Amazon had given the U.S. distribution rights back to Allen. In November 2019, Allen settled his breach of contract lawsuit against Amazon, and both parties voluntarily filed a joint notice dismissing the case.
Me Too movement responses
The film's production coincided with the start of the Me Too movement, causing a resurgence in public interest in the 1992 sexual abuse allegation against Allen. In October 2017, actor Griffin Newman announced via Twitter that he regretted acting in the film and would not work with Allen again in the future. Newman donated his salary to RAINN. In January 2018, Chalamet donated his salary to RAINN, Time's Up and the LGBT Center of New York. Gomez made a donation of over $1 million, exceeding her salary, to Time's Up. Like Gomez, Hall donated her salary to Time's Up. She later explained "I've been deliberate in saying that the choice wasn't making a judgment one way or another. I don't believe anyone in the public should be judge and jury on a case that is so complex."
Without commenting on the allegations against Allen, Law said in November 2018 that it's "a terrible shame" the film got shelved. Cherry Jones, conversely, defended Allen in April 2019, saying: "[...] I went back and studied every scrap of information I could get about that period. And in my heart of hearts, I do not believe he was guilty as charged [...] [t]here are those who are comfortable with their certainty. I am not. I don’t know the truth, but I know that if we condemn by instinct, democracy is on a slippery slope."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 48% based on 52 reviews, with an average rating of 5.38/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Its outstanding cast helps elevate a middling screenplay, but A Rainy Day in New York falls well short of Woody Allen's best efforts." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 48 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Variety's Jessica Kiang wrote "Despite featuring some of the best actors of their respective generations, A Rainy Day in New York feels like a film born of profound creative exhaustion." Matt Thrift of Little White Lies was more positive, calling the film "hardly top-tier Allen" but had "such wonderful performances" from the trio casts. Lisa Nesselson for Screen Daily praised the "splendid performances" and Vittorio Storaro's brilliant cinematography, and noted that the film is "far more hit than miss". Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter suggested that "A Rainy Day has its moments, most of them thanks to star Timothée Chalamet [...] who does a terrific job channeling your typical Allenian antihero," and "Fanning does her best with such a problematic character", but concluded that the film is merely Allen's watchable rehashed themes.
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