Like Sunday, Like Rain
Film Review by Kam Williams
Melancholy Adolescent and Cash-Strapped Nanny Bond in Unlikely-Buddies Drama Reminiscent of Harold and Maude
Eleanor (Leighton Meester) gets so fed up with her struggling musician boyfriend’s (Billie Joe Armstrong) philandering ways, that she tosses his most prized possession, his guitar, out of a second-floor window to the street below where it’s smashed into smithereens. He retaliates by getting her fired from her job as a waitress by making a scene right in the place where she works.
She then impulsively dumps him, packs all her belongings into a single suitcase, and moves out of their apartment. Trouble is that with nowhere to go, she suddenly has to figure out how to survive in Manhattan with only $160 to her name.
Eleanor is lucky to land a gig as a nanny through a temp agency which places her in a posh penthouse where she’ll be paid room and board to care for a precocious 12 year-old with preoccupied parents who are never around. In the absence of quality time, Reggie (Julian Shatkin) has developed into a melancholy misanthrope, whose only saving grace is that he loves to play the cello.
Can a cash-strapped, 23 year-old au pair from a blue-collar background relate to a spoil-rotten rich musical prodigy? That’s the dilemma serving as the driving force behind Like Sunday, Like Rain, an unlikely-buddies drama reminiscent of Harold and Maude (1971).
Written and directed by Frank Whaley (New York City Serenade), the character-driven coming-of-age flick is obviously very dependent on the generation of chemistry between the leads. Fortunately, co-stars Leighton Meester and Julian Shatkin both prove capable and convincing in this regard.
Given his folks’ conspicuous absence, initially-reluctant Reggie is essentially afforded free rein to roam around New York on an unlimited budget, and obliging Eleanor wins his trust by letting him skip day camp and scheduled play dates. He hangs with her instead, and the two gradually bond while visiting museums, dining in fancy restaurants, and even renting a hotel room.
A tenderhearted lesson in how friendship can be forged in spite of a great gulf in age, class and I.Q.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity
Running time: 104 minutes
Distributor: Monterey Media