To punish myself for staying up half the night for no good reason, and to escape from a horrible (and horribly over-hyped) football game that I'd been looking forward to all week, I forced myself to finish watching a movie I hated this afternoon. I don't think the punishment fit the crimes, such as they were, because the movie was the execrable Autumn in New York.
I'd avoided it in the theaters last year on principle — the principle being that I didn't want to watch Richard Gere ravish Winona Ryder. Principle turned out to be the least of my problems with the movie, though. I hated pretty much everything else about it even more.
Let's start with what I liked: some of the photography, of street scenes and the old New York skyline. And I enjoyed the performance of Vera Farmiga as — well, I won't say, just in case I'm completely wrong about the film and somebody might be about to watch it and will think it's an exquisite cinematic statement about the power of love to transcend time, or the impotence of love to overcome death, or maybe even something marginally less trite. It wouldn't be the first time my judgment turned out to be off base.
The parts played by Gere and Ryder weren't miscast as much as they simply shouldn't have been played by any actors, no matter how beautiful and talented they might be. I didn't believe a word either one of them said, because the dialog was so stilted and overblown. And I wouldn't have cared anyway, because I didn't recognize these characters as real human beings. Spending two hours trying to interest myself in their relationship was my mistake.
My TiVo remote came in handy during this one, because there are long sequences when nothing happens at all. I can only watch Richard Gere wandering pensively down the street in the rain for a couple of seconds before I push the fast-forward button and make him trot. Even the love-making scenes make a lot more sense in double time.