Editor’s Pick: A Rainy Day in NY


Whereas Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York” falls short in terms of acting and storyline, it succeeds in reminding us what we love about the Big Apple. (courtesy of Twitter)

Woody Allen’s 2019 film, “A Rainy Day in New York,” has many of the ingredients that make a good movie: romance, interesting directing and Timothée Chalamet. So it was especially disappointing when the movie fell flat. However, despite mediocre acting and an overdone storyline, there were aspects of the film that reminded me of NYC’s attractive aura, and for that, the film is worth watching and discussing.

There are tiny hidden gems that, added together, make this movie pleasant. In the moments that are obvious opportunities for savvy screenshots and lines worthy of quoting in a casual setting 20 years down the road, I find comfort. They somehow made me infatuated with New York City in a way that a child might be upon their first visit to the glorious Big Apple. I know people watching might say that this film’s depiction of NYC is exactly what makes the city overrated, but it has the opposite effect for me. As cheesy as it is, there’s nothing I’d enjoy doing more than chasing my airhead lover throughout NYC on a rainy day. This film allows me to live that dream, even if it’s through a screen.

My favorite part was the yellow-tinted light. It’s effect was a constant golden hour, despite the gloomy rain, which can make anything feel romantic and lighthearted. The light is to thank for much of the longing I felt while watching the movie, as it clung to each character like a wet sock. With this warm light in practically every scene, it was easy to slip into their imaginary world.

The wide- angle lens employed in some scenes was strange. No one needs to see New York city with that much depth. It’s the outside, sans analysis, that we love so much, and we choose to turn a blind eye when its flaws are exposed. Additionally, the constant spotlight on the back of peoples’ heads, even during dialogue, was an obvious attention grab by the director, trying to emphasize the characters’ superficiality or genuineness, respectively. However, both of these directing decisions are worth appreciating for the sake of art. They make the movie quirky, which is probably why so many people didn’t like it in the first place. I liked the weirdness, though. It speaks to the short-lived infatuation that so many people experience with NYC, and therefore, will tug at your heart while you watch, forcing you to remember how you felt when you first became a New Yorker.

When people watch a Woody Allen film, there is an expectation that it will have some degree of good quality. Much like when a person dreams of moving to the Big Apple, our expectations won’t always be met, let alone exceeded. NYC isn’t for everyone — neither is “A Rainy Day in New York” — but for those who love it and understand it, it’s a pleasure to experience, much like this Woody Allen movie.