Autumn in New York, directed by Joan Chen (Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl), is the recycled love story of a man who has it all but nobody to share it with. The tacky promo, "He taught her how to live, she taught him how to love," basically explains the plot in a nutshell. Flourishing Manhattan restaurant owner Will Keane (Gere) sees something in the beauty, wit, and innocence of young Charlotte (Winona Ryder), despite the fact that he dated her deceased mother in the past. On the flip side, Charlotte has merely a year to live and is not afraid to die because she has nothing truly worth living for. The two find sustenance in one another, but as all love stories go, they endure trying times. Winona is either too young or too sick, and he can't control his libido or escape his shady past. So they're meant for one another, but how long can it last?
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My sarcasm aside, Dead Simple is actually a fun little movie. While the title is a shameless riff on the classic Blood Simple, the movie is also a fun black comedy with a juicy body count. Daniel Stern stars as Frank Jacobs, a hapless motel owner, situated at the geographic center of the United States (which is otherwise a totally flat wasteland). His wife (Home Improvement's Patricia Richardson) wants nothing to do with grand designs -- to become a big country singer/songwriter. But Frank ends up in the sack with local chanteuse Julie (Lacey Kohl), wife of the local star singer Roy Baker (Caan). And then his wife ends up dead... and then the fun begins.
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