Retro Review: Autumn in New York

A 1950s style love story updated and delivered to enchant the new millennium. Oh, and its got Richard Gere in it.

“Autumn in New York” is a delicate love story about a womanizing restaurant owner (Richard Gere) who thinks he has fallen for a much younger woman (Winona Ryder).

The couple is forced with a “love tries to conquer all” circumstance which threatens to part them for all time. Their relationship is turbulent and the plot does beg the question is the story about redemption or a chronicle about when we need to let go. These questions arrive in the subplots involving Gere and his estranged daughter and Ryder’s hidden secret.

What I liked about this film is how Gere seems to embrace a character very close to what he played in “Pretty Woman” except with a more realistic turn. I truly do believe that if the “Pretty Woman” character was real he would be this one.

I liked how Gere struggles with the idea that no matter what he does he may never save the woman of his dreams from slipping through his fingers. This struggle is enlightening and heart wrenching but when he cheats to shove Ryder away he became the jerk he describes himself to be. I liked how the film meanders around enough to let us seek our own redemption of Gere.

Another aspect I enjoyed was a solid portrayal by Ryder who seems to be shedding her self-destructing roles for a real simple and charming character who is struggling with her mortality. I liked her radiance here and it’s been so long since Hollywood has allowed her to let us gasp.

These two leads really made me want to envelope a classic love story again. This film follows the tradition of sappy love stories including “An Affair to Remember” and “Beaches”.

Take your mom, your wife or someone you treasure to this one, they’ll love you for it.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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