Film

Precocious Indie Like Sunday, Like Rain Is as Fussy as Its Title

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Unsurprising given its laughably affected title, Like Sunday, Like Rain boasts what may be the most insufferably precocious protagonist in cinema history. Reggie (Julian Shatkin), a twelve-year-old boy genius, proclaims that art is dead, casually questions adult “mores,” and composes classical music that he then practices on his cello in his Upper West Side mansion’s empty indoor swimming pool.

Actor-turned-writer/director Frank Whaley employs studied tracking shots and a mind-numbing piano theme to chart Reggie’s quasi-romantic relationship with twentysomething Eleanor (Leighton Meester), who’s hired by Reggie’s cold, wealthy mom (Debra Messing) to be the kid’s nanny.

That job involves listening to Reggie prattle on about museum paintings and his vegan diet, all of it delivered in an overly articulate, smarty-pants way that makes you pine to see him suffer some much-deserved bully justice. Eventually, the two travel upstate to visit Eleanor’s dying father and deal with lowbrow relatives who prove to be the clichéd country-bumpkin flip-side to Messing’s snooty urbanite.

When Reggie advises Eleanor, a former cornet prodigy, to protect her artistic “gift,” Like Sunday, Like Rain finally achieves maximum phoniness — and that’s not even factoring in Billy Joe Armstrong, whose performance as Eleanor’s callous musician boyfriend is as whiny and grating as [insert any Green Day song title].