Review: Like Sunday Like Rain

Julian Shatkin and Leighton Meester in Like Sunday, Like Rain

Like Sunday, Like Rain begins and ends with long stretches of dialog free music. The same melancholy strains of a cello take us into and out of this story about a young woman and a 12 year old boy who share a few weeks one summer and change each other forever.

The film synopsis is, “Surrounded by wealth and living with abundant resources in Manhattan, 12-year-old cello prodigy Reggie, lives a solitary life lacking only frequently absent parents and friends. Estranged from family, having slacker boyfriend troubles, and fired from her waitressing job, sometimes musician 23-year-old Eleanor needs a new place to live and a new job.”

Written and directed by Frank Whaley, who is better known as an actor, the film is quietly compelling and definitely unusual. Leighton Meester plays Eleanor, who just dumped her erring boyfriend (Billie Joe Armstrong) and now has no place to live. And no job.

Olga Merediz and Debra Messing
Olga Merediz and Debra Messing in “LIke Sunday, Like Rain”

Eleanor finds a job working for a wealthy New Yorker (Debra Messing) as a temporary nanny for her 12 year old son Reggie (Julian Shatkin). Reggie lives a lonely life his a huge house with a distant mother and a doting housekeeper (Olga Merediz). Reggie is a math prodigy, a musical genius, and a lot wiser than his years. He’s also spoiled, entitled, and has access to all the money he wants – which he uses to bribe people so he can do as he pleases instead of as his mother wants.

Leighton Meester and Julian Shatkin
Leighton Meester and Julian Shatkin in “Like Sunday, Like Rain”

Eleanor and Reggie connect initially through music. Then they become friends. They finally come to care deeply about each other. I couldn’t help but wonder what they might be to each other if they met again 10 years later when their 11 year age difference wouldn’t have been a barrier. And possibly, by then, Eleanor might have her currently rather aimless life figured out a bit.

For Reggie, it is the first time anyone has actually “gotten” him and cared about him for who he is. He isn’t a typical 12 year old adolescent, as he himself points out, but he’s typical enough to fall hard for the first great love of his life. For Eleanor, she gets the encouragement she needs to reconnect with music, the one thing that saved her sanity for most of her growing up years.

Nothing much happens in the film in the way of action. There are trips to the park, museum visits, a bus trip to Eleanor’s home. Like Sunday, Like Rain is more a character study than a complicated, intricately plotted story. Your reaction to the film will probably depend on how you connect with the two main characters.

You can watch the 2014 Like Sunday, Like Rain on Netflix, Amazon Video, iTunes and other services.

The Trailer

The music you hear in the trailer is the piece titled “Like Sunday, Like Rain.” Music for the film was written by Ed Harcourt.

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