Movie Review

Autumn in New York

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some sensuality

Reviewed by: Brenda Hauck
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Drama
Length:
1 hr. 43 min.
Year of Release:
2000
USA Release:
August 11, 2000
Relevant issues
Richard Gere and Winona Ryder in “Autumn in New York”

How can I be and feel forgiven? answer

Sex outside of marriage… see topics

Dating… see topics

Homosexuality… see topics

Teen Qs… home

Hell: Fact or Fiction? answer

Jesus Christ home

Featuring: Richard Gere, Winona Ryder, Anthony LaPaglia, Elaine Stritch, Sherry Stringfield
Director: Joan Chen
Producer: Amy Robinson, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

My husband and I used 2 free movie tickets that I won at work to see “Autumn in New York”. I’m glad that the tickets were free because I never would have paid to see such a terrible movie.

The movie left us both feeling that there was a lot that should have happened that didn’t. Will Keane (Richard Gere) meets Charlotte (Winona Ryder) in a restaurant that he owns when Charlotte’s grandmother introduces them. Later you find that Will also slept with Charlotte’s mother. The 48-year-old Will and 22-year-old Charlotte “fall in love” and he learns that she is dying as he tells her, after they have slept together, that there is no chance for commitment. A real nice guy.

“Autumn in New York” is long and boring. Will is a playboy who, one week after starting a relationship with Charlotte, is found in the arms of another woman and breaks Charlotte’s heart. She forgives him and he sets out to find a surgeon that offers hope to save Charlotte from her terminal disease, yet fails.

As a Christian, this movie was very upsetting to me. First, that a man his age would consider dating a woman who is so young. There is a vivid sex scene on the first date, plus arguments with cursing and violence. Biblical morality is void in these characters, and tolerance for homosexuality is another message preached.

The only good point about “Autumn” was the forgiveness shown. Gere’s character had conceived a child out of wedlock some years ago. The girl finds him several years later and the reunion was a real tear-jerker. It offered the biblical point that all is and can be forgiven. Unfortunately, this strong scene was much too brief.

Pre-marital sex, sex with multiple partners, homosexuality, and the belief that when someone dies they are saved, no matter their faith or lack thereof in Jesus make this morally bankrupt film one to avoid.


Viewer Comments
I went to this movie expecting a romantic love story with a focus on their blossoming relationship, but I came away with a heavier message to deal with: Unless you are willing to risk being vulnerable and becoming emotionally close to someone, ALL your relationships will be shallow and fake, and you WILL end up very old and very lonely and eventually “die in your own arms.” Hollywood usually promotes put-your-best-foot-forward kind of surface relationships, but in this one, the typically keep-your-distance-so-you-don’t-get-hurt guy is forced to take the risk of experiencing pain for the sake of experiencing something real. Although they tended to mistake sex for genuine love, it showed how life is really about connecting to people and not just filling a self-centered need for brief moments of superficial intimacy. It’s a hard movie to watch, especially if you can relate personally, but it’s a necessary challenge if you do… My Ratings: [2/3½]
—Andrea Caylor, age 23
This movie was definitely less than I expected. I am usually a fan of Richard Gere and Wynona Rider, but not in this movie. The previews portrayed it as a heart warming story of a guy who falls in love with a terminally ill young lady… but it was far from that. I was seriously disappointed by this movie. The moral standards were far below what a christian should be watching, plus the fact that the movie was just plain boring! I would not recommend this movie to anyone. My Ratings: [2½/2½]
—Katie Whitelaw, age 15
This movie is a moral mix. On the one hand, you have a man who goes from being a playboy who uses women as playthings, to a man who genuinely cares for another human being. The transformation is portrayed very well. However, it is implied that a monogamous sexual relationship outside of marriage is a beautiful thing. To the producer’s credit, there is no explicit sex or nudity in the movie, and swearing is kept to a minimum. My Ratings: [2½/3½]
—Steve Pruett, age 48
This movie was a terrible let down. I am usually a big fan of romantic “chic flick” movies. While I enjoy both of the main characters, they did not work well together in this film. There was no chemistry, and I found it hard to believe they were “in love”. After the first date, they find themselves in bed together, which was very disappointing. Also, Richard Gere has a sexual encounter, with a past lover, on the roof at his friends party. He does this and shows no remorse afterward. Another disturbing element in the movie is Wynona’s “new age” beliefs. She makes reference to the universe on one occasion and seems to have lots of beads and crystals; she also practices yoga. What should have been a very sad ending left me tearless and upset at the wasted potential of this movie. Save your money!! My Ratings: [2/2]
—Deb, age 27
I enjoyed this movie very much. While it is true that Richard Gere’s character was originally a womanizer, he is changed completely by love. He learns that even though it is risky to give your heart completely to someone, it is worth the risk. Not only is he changed in his relationship with Winona’s character, but he also changes his relationship with his daughter and new grandchild. This movie has a very good message. Perhaps I am an incurable romantic, but I wish there were more true love stories. I only wish both characters could have known the Lord and were married to each other, but Hollywood isn’t about to go that far I guess. Anyway, I feel it has a good plot and message. See this one! Also it is rated PG-13. I won’t attend R rated movies! My Ratings: [3/4]
—Laura, age 47
I was quite disappointed with this movie. Besides the language and sex scene, you could tell right from the start how the movie would end. It was very predictable. Although there were a few good scenes that made me think or laugh, overall it was not worth the money I spent to see it. My Ratings: [2/3]
—Summer, age 17
…Paint-by-number seduction scenes, sex scenes, argument scenes and walk-in-the-park scenes inevitably leave viewers drowsy…
—Focus on the Family’s “Plugged In”
…a workmanlike product that offers occasional, small moments of satisfaction…
—James Berardinelli, ReelViews
…an allegedly adult romance built around two shallow twits and dialogue that needs ironing…
—Ed Blank, Tribune-Review of Western Pennsylvania
…a disappointment…
—Anthony Leong, MediaCircus