The Only Living Boy in New York – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

October 4, 2017 by Roz Tarszisz
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Young man falls in love with older woman, something bound to end in tears especially as the beautiful woman is his father’s mistress. That piece of possible salaciousness aside, it does add something new to the genre. Director Marc Webb, (The Amazing Spider-Man) has a light touch and moves the characters around with deftness.

Thomas (Callum Turner) has just the right amount of naivety to be appealing and has the makings of a good man.  He lives on the Lower East Side and visits his parents in their Upper West Side apartment, especially when his mother is hosting a dinner party and requires his presence.  His father Ethan (Pierce Brosnan) is a publisher.

Thomas is sweet on Mimi (Kiersey Clemons) but she only wants him as a friend.

Having just graduated from college he is a bit lost. Life starts to get interesting when he meets new neighbour, W.F. Gerald (Jeff Bridges) who challenges Thomas’ assumptions about life and love. Bridges gets the best lines and delivers them with great relish, albeit from behind a glass of booze.

When Thomas sees his father with an unknown woman Johanna (Kate Beckinsale) he’s shocked. He’s very close to his mother, the nervous Judith (Cynthia Nixon) and is desperate to protect her from being hurt.

He starts following Johanna around Manhattan with unexpected results.  She is aware of her stalker and turns on him, questioning him about his motives.  Thomas is unprepared for the onslaught of the sophisticated woman and they start an affair.

I can see what he sees in Johanna but less what she sees in him, sweet though he is.  Beckinsale reminds me of her role as the delightfully wicked Lady Susan Vernon in Love & Friendship.  She’s tough, uncompromising and knows what she wants.

In part it’s fairly predictable with the potential for tragedy but I still found myself enthralled by the bad behaviour. The soundtrack is good, taking its cue from the Simon & Garfunkel song of the film’s title.

“You’ve got no idea how the world works” Johanna tells Thomas.

It’s true, he doesn’t, but by the end, he certainly does and is the better man for it.

3.5/5  Drama Rated M  89mins  2017  Released October 12

Stars Callum Turner, Jeff Bridges, Kate Beckinsale, Pierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon

Directed by Marc Web

Writer Allan Loeb

 

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