Autumn in New York

Rated 2.0 When a playboy restaurateur (Richard Gere) meets a terminally ill young woman (Winona Ryder), his usual love-’em-and-leave-’em tactics won’t work any more. Written by Allison Burnett and smoothly directed by Joan Chen, the film is an unrepentant throwback to the soft-focus romantic tearjerkers of the 1960s—which, unfortunately, is both its greatest asset and its most crippling liability. Gere and Ryder are sincere and attractive, with strong support from Anthony LaPaglia, Elaine Stritch, Mary Beth Hurt and a platoon of reliable pros. But Allison Burnett’s script gives them only dreary date-movie clichés; the cast and director deserved better. (To be fair, though, the film deserves better treatment than MGM has given it, throwing it into theaters without previews, like a lost cause.)