From Kyle Smith‘s “The Suppressed Woody Allen Movie,” posted on 3.24.20, reviewed via a French DVD: “Although Allen is no longer in his prime as an artist, I’ve seen all of his movies and I wasn’t about to miss A Rainy Day in New York despite the damage done to his reputation in 2017, when he got singed in the wildfire started in a burn-the-witches spell of hysteria.
“Allen became persona non grata thanks to the resurfacing of a discredited and almost certainly false allegation that he sexually abused his then-seven-year-old daughter in 1992.
“I can’t fathom why Rainy Day, alone among the dozens of films Allen has made since 1992, should be suppressed in this country, but that is not to say it’s a strong effort. Unfortunately, it continues his string of mediocre-to-poor films.
“Like every other young person in the movie — people in their early twenties drop references to Grace Kelly, Sky Masterson, Yasir Arafat and going to medical school in Grenada — Gatsby talks an awful lot like an 84-year-old comedy writer, and his ideal weekend turns on joining the mummified habitués of the Pierre and Carlyle Hotels, where a college student would feel about as welcome as Allen would at Coachella. Allen writes his scripts on a typewriter, is a stranger to the internet, and it seems fair to say that his stock of references could use a bit of freshening.”
From “Rainy Day Goes Down Easy,” posted on 12.6.19: “A Rainy Day in Manhattan feels like some kind of self-satirizing spoof — a ‘sophisticated’, old-fashioned, Allen-esque satire that could have been made 30 or 40 years ago, and in fact seems to be happening in some kind of weird time vacuum.
“Some critics have said it doesn’t work because it’s all taking place in Woody World (i.e., bucks-up Manhattan and the same kind of tony locales that Allen has used since the days of Annie Hall and Manhattan) and that the younger lead actors (Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez) clearly don’t belong in it — they would never talk like naive young snobs or make witty Allen-esque cracks about this or that.
“But it’s amusing in a kind of goofball way because they’re all pretending that Woody World is an actual place and so they’re all playing a kind of dress-up and just cruising through and acting nonchalant, like it’s all a masquerade and they’re just going through the notions.
“And I really like the way Chalamet handles himself in this milieu. He’ll probably never ever behave this way in another movie ever again, and it’s fascinating to watch him pretend to be an Allen kind of guy (flush, entitled, smart-assy, tweed jackets) with casual confidence and just submitting to the unreality of it all.
“And at the same time the movie is fine as a whole — it shuffles along and seems to enjoy itself with an occasional wink at the camera. It doesn’t offend because it’s just gliding along…who cares? You’d have to be a real asshole to pan this without mercy. You’d have to have a fairly thick broomstick up your ass to begin with.”