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The Only Living Boy in New York (film)

The Only Living Boy in New York is a 2017 American drama film directed by Marc Webb and written by Allan Loeb. The film stars Callum Turner, Kate Beckinsale, Pierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon, Kiersey Clemons, and Jeff Bridges. The film was released on August 11, 2017, by Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios.

The Only Living Boy in New York
The Only Living Boy in New York (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarc Webb
Produced by
Written byAllan Loeb
Music byRob Simonsen
CinematographyStuart Dryburgh
Edited byTim Streeto
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
Running time
88 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.1 million[2]



Thomas Webb (Callum Turner) is a college graduate who is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and has a one-sided crush on his friend Mimi (Kiersey Clemons). One day, he meets his new neighbor, W.F. (Jeff Bridges), with whom he suddenly feels a connection. Thomas begins to spend time with W.F. and tells him about his life.

When Thomas hangs out in a bar with Mimi one day, they see his father, Ethan (Pierce Brosnan) together with another woman (Kate Beckinsale). Fearing that the affair would take a toll on his already mentally unstable mother, Judith (Cynthia Nixon), Thomas starts to follow and finally confronts the woman. He is surprised when the other woman, Johanna, actually knows who Thomas is. She tells him that she is a freelance editor working with his father and knows Thomas from his picture in Ethan's office. After some time following and pleading with her to leave his father, Johanna mentions that Thomas is still a child who doesn't know anything, including the fact that he actually wants to sleep with her. Telling this to W.F., W.F. asks if he really wants to sleep with her and Thomas reluctantly says that he does.

When attending a friend's party, Thomas bumps into Johanna with another man. Having an argument after Thomas makes a crude remark about her, Thomas surprisingly kisses her which ends up with them making out passionately. An affair starts and Thomas begins to fall for Johanna. He tells her that since he was a child, he has aspired to be a writer but Thomas's dream was crushed when his father told him that his essays were only 'serviceable'.

One day, when Thomas looks for W.F. in his apartment, he finds a manuscript titled The Only Living Boy in New York and that W.F. is actually a successful (although somewhat reclusive) writer. Thomas shows him his essays, and W.F. tells him that he does have a talent for writing. Thomas invites W.F. to a party at his father's publishing company to which the writer reluctantly agrees. Thomas takes Mimi to the party, and she begins to show feelings towards him. She asks him if he is having an affair with Johanna, which he denies. Thomas sees W.F. at the party and wants to introduce him to his mother, but W.F. suddenly disappears. W.F. meets with Johanna, also attending the party, on the roof of the building, and warns her not to hurt Thomas.

Johanna ends her relationship with Thomas, because Ethan has proposed to her. Angered by this, Thomas confronts his father (as Johanna attempts to dissuade him), and discloses he slept with Johanna, "more than once." Ethan is angered and grabs Thomas, but then leaves the room. Johanna tearfully tells Thomas that she really is in love with Ethan. She tells Thomas he really doesn't know anything, and shows him a news clipping/photograph that Ethan keeps in his office, of a younger Thomas winning a tennis match, with W.F. standing in the background watching.

Thomas confronts W.F. and he tells him that he was a close friend of his parents. As Ethan is infertile, he and Judith asked W.F. for a favor: to conceive a child with Judith. Spending a drunken night together, W.F. realized that he was in love with Judith, but he left her, as Ethan was more successful then. She realized she loved him too, and his leaving led to her depression. W.F.has watched Thomas from afar, hoping to connect with his son, which he now has.

Returning to his parent's home, Thomas finds that Ethan has disclosed his affair with Johanna to Judith, and has ended his relationship with Judith. Thomas tells his mother that he's been in contact with W.F., and that he knows Judith has been in love with W.F. for 25 years.

One year later, Thomas is working in a bookstore, while trying to get his writing published. Ethan comes into the bookstore and the two catch up. Ethan offers to help Thomas using his connections, which Thomas declines. Thomas asks if Ethan is still in contact with Johanna, and he says no, but admits he's lying. Thomas finds Judith at a reading, listening while W. F. reads The Only Living Boy in New York. Thomas watches them and smiles, as his mother has finally found her happiness.



On August 15, 2012, it was announced Marc Webb would direct the film.[9] On November 4, 2014, Miles Teller joined the cast of the film.[10] On September 8, 2016, Callum Turner joined the cast of the film to replace Miles Teller.[3] On September 20, 2016, Kate Beckinsale joined the cast of the film.[4] On September 23, 2016, Pierce Brosnan joined the cast of the film.[5] On September 27, 2016, Kiersey Clemons joined the cast of the film.[7] Principal photography began in October 2016.[4]


The film was released on August 11, 2017, by Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios.[6]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 33% based on 86 reviews, and an average rating of 4.8/10.[11] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score 33 out of 100, based 23 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[12]

Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers unfavorably compared the film to The Graduate, giving it 1.5 stars out of 4 and saying, "Even the best actors – and this coming-of-age movie boasts a handful of them – can't fight this much tin-eared dialogue."[13]


  1. ^ "The Only Living Boy in New York". AMC Theatres. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Only Living Boy in New York (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Justin Kroll (2016-09-08). "Callum Turner to Star in Marc Webb's 'Only Living Boy in New York'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  4. ^ a b c Dave McNary (2016-09-20). "Kate Beckinsale Joins 'Only Living Boy in New York'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  5. ^ a b Amanda N'Duka (2016-09-23). "Pierce Brosnan Set To Star In 'The Only Living Boy In New York'". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  6. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike (2017-03-17). "Amazon Taps Roadside To Release 'The Only Living Boy In New York'". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  7. ^ a b Justin Kroll (2016-09-27). "Kiersey Clemons to Star in Marc Webb's Next Film With Callum Turner". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  8. ^ Joey Nolfi (2017-06-19). "The Only Living Boy in New York trailer". Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike (2012-08-15). "Marc Webb Attaches To 'The Only Living Boy In New York'". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  10. ^ Justin Kroll (2014-11-04). "Miles Teller to Star in 'Spider-Man' Director's New Indie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. ^ "The Only Living Boy in New York (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Only Living Boy in New York reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Travers, Peter (August 10, 2017). "'The Only Living Boy in New York' Review: Weak Riff on 'The Graduate' Is a Waste". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 22, 2017.

External linksEdit