Owen Gleiberman
August 23, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Autumn in New York

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
105 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/11/00
performer
Richard Gere, Winona Ryder
director
Joan Chen
Producers
Lakeshore Entertainment, United Artists (MGM)
distributor
MGM
author
Allison Burnet
genre
Romance, Drama

We gave it a C

Richard Gere’s phoniest acting tic has to be the way that he tosses back his head and laughs, in ”spontaneous” delight, at his romantic costar. In the tastefully embarrassing Autumn in New York, Gere once again plays a selfish sleazo who learns to embrace love over vanity. This time he’s a celebrity chef, and Winona Ryder, who will probably be acting like a coy and girlish debutante when she’s 80, is the poem spouting, funky hat making princess who cures him of his womanizing ways when it turns out that she’s suffering from Old Movie Disease (oops, I mean a heart tumor).

It’s unfortunate that the film was directed by Joan Chen, who made the shattering ”Xiu-Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl.” The gentle humanism of Chen’s touch is much in evidence here, yet she can’t undo the howler at the movie’s center — namely, that Gere’s serial dater has conveniently chosen to fall in love with the one young woman in Manhattan who won’t be around in six months anyway.

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