Autumn in New York
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The recent marriage of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones was one of the biggest wedding events of the year, producing insane amounts of publicity and worldwide media coverage. In all honesty, it creeped the hell out of me. There’s just something unnerving about a gorgeous young woman in the wrinkled clutches of a crusty old man. But that’s just my opinion. A similar story unfolds in Autumn in New York whose DVD is one of the most shocking releases of the year. Why you ask? Read on.
A womanizing restaurant owner (Richard Gere) catches a glimpse of a beautiful young customer (Winona Ryder) while she’s celebrating a birthday in his establishment. After craftily organizing a date together, he discovers that she’s suffering from a congenital heart disease and only has a precious few months to live. As the two hopelessly fall in love, a string of unexpected events occur which ultimately challenge the future of their relationship.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Do yourself a favor and completely avoid this one altogether. If there ever was an annual award for Most Despicable Person in a feature film, Richard Gere’s character would be an overwhelming favorite to take home the prize. I was actually kind of disturbed while watching this sexual predator in action, hovering around women half his age. The real flaw of this movie, however, is it’s horrendous script which left a whole lot to be desired. After Winona Ryder finds out that only a week into the relationship that Gere’s cheated on her, why she goes back is beyond me. But wait, it gets better. We then later discover that he’s actually fathered an illegitimate child who he hasn’t seen in some 20 years. Despite all these glaring problems, Ryder’s character still finds it in her heart to stay with this loathsome jerk. The movie then adopts an irritating pattern which had Winona falling unconscious (she has a heart condition) whenever things seem to be going right. This kept happening over and over. The one bright point in this cinematic mess was Ryder herself, who with her great smile and adorable antics, stole my heart. Despite her spirited performance, she and Gere seemed to have very little chemistry and all of their romantic interactions came across as being rather contrived. The "steamy" love scenes were thankfully brief but nonetheless disheartening to watch. The movie’s final insult is it’s ending which seemed to draw on every possible movie cliché possible for a tragically waning love story, leaving the viewer completely unsatisfied. Avoid this one at all costs.
This is where things get interesting. THERE WERE ABSOLUTELY NO EXTRAS TO BE FOUND ON THE DVD. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. In this day and age, even the worst grossing movies get at least a trailer or music video for their DVD release. In retrospect, given how little I enjoyed the actual movie, the lack of extras wasn’t all that disappointing
Although it may be a bit preliminary to be making any predictions for 2001, I think it’s safe to say that Autumn in New York is a legitimate contender for worst release of the year. It "masterfully" combines a truly awful movie with zero special features, yielding one sorry ass excuse for a DVD. Stay the hell away from this one, you’ll thank me later.