“Like Sunday, Like Rain”: an overly sentimental drama about a young cello prodigy and his nanny



Name: Like Sunday, Like Rain
Director, writer:  Frank Whaley
Released:  2014
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed:  Netflix instant (avail. Amazon)
Companies: BB, Tagline, and Monterey Media
Link: official site

Like Sunday, Like Rain” (directed by Frank Whaley) sets up a situation where a twenty-something young woman goes to work as a live-in nanny for a 12-year old boy and cello music prodigy.  The film gets a bit manipulative and sentimental as it progresses, but the setup raises interesting “moral” questions about privilege and family.

Reggie (Julian Shatlkin) is spoiled by his overprotective divorced mom in his ritzy Manhattan brownstone.  She hires a driver to bring him home safely from private school.  He demonstrates his smarts in math in class in one scene (which could have made a different movie).  Math and music go together. Just before going away, mom (Debra Messing) has an emergency when her housekeeper quits.

In a parallel story, wannabe trumpet player Eleanor (Leighton Meester) gets fired from her waitressing job when her musician boyfriend Dennis (Billie Joe Armstrong) makes a scene in the bar. She says to Dennis, “You have to pay them to let you pay there; that doesn’t quite count as a gig.”  So, self-publishing doesn’t count, and remember a boyfriend in the 1970s who played guitar for tips in the Village at Shakespeare’s.  Well, Eleanor has only $160 to her name, and almost moves back with mom.  But she gets a break from an agency, and immediate live-in job as a nanny for Reggie. In the vetting interview, she tells the story of practically raising her younger sister, who is also stumbling in life.

The movie drags a bit as the starts to drag Reggie into her own life, maybe moving into inappropriate territory.  They visit the sister’s house upstate.  In the final scene, they play a piece together, the somewhat perfunctory, sweet leitmotif for the movie, in C Major, with not the most adventurous harmonies or mixing of melodic lines.  The music seems original for the movie (Ed Harcourt).

A bigger movie for comparison would be “The Soloist” (2009), by Joe Wright.

(Published: Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 3:30 PM EDT)