A movie review of “Like Sunday, Like Rain,” a provocative, well-acted movie about the awkward but tender relationship between a struggling New York nanny and a 12-year-old genius. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.

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Once an intense supporting actor in other people’s films (“Pulp Fiction,” “The Doors”), Frank Whaley has become a director who takes his time with other actors.

Case in point: his latest directorial effort, “Like Sunday, Like Rain,” which uses a leisurely pace to develop the tender relationship between Eleanor, a 23-year-old New York nanny (Leighton Meester from “Gossip Girl”), and Reggie (newcomer Julian Shatkin), a 12-year-old genius who desperately wants to be 13.

The approach has its risks as well as its rewards, especially during a third act that takes too much time — and talk — to explain what we’ve been witnessing. Eleanor is extricating herself from an immature but legal-age boyfriend (Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong) at the same time that she and Reggie are falling for each other.

Movie Review ★★½  

‘Like Sunday, Like Rain,’ with Julian Shatkin, Leighton Meester, Billie Joe Armstrong. Written and directed by Frank Whaley. 104 minutes. Rated R for language. Sundance Cinemas (21+).

Which adolescent will she choose? And how platonic can Eleanor and Reggie keep their attraction? Theirs is a meeting of minds and souls and musical tastes (he plays the cello, she handles the coronet), but sooner rather than later they’ll be forced to confront what Reggie calls “a series of colossal mistakes.”

It’s at this point that “Like Sunday, Like Rain” begins to falter. The pace slows, the music swells and Whaley’s script threatens to turn sentimental and evasive. Whaley has made a provocative, well-acted movie about infatuations that turn awkward, but he struggles with the ending.