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New York, I Love You
on February 2, 2010
"New York, I Love You" is quite an ambitious project. It represents part of what is referred to as the "Cities of Love" series, which was started by the successful "Paris, je t'aime" (2006). Like its predecessor, "New York, I Love You" tries to capture love in all its facets, provided by the vision of several directors, resulting in a charming and touching film.
The stories, as its name implies, take place in New York City, of which we see some of its scenery, but it could have really taken place anywhere else. They feel like universal stories and each one embodies the particular vision of its director, which included Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Awai, Wen Jiang, Mira Nair, Joshua Marston, Brett Ratner, Natalie Portman (her directorial debut), Shekhar Kapur, Fatih Akin, and Randall Balsmeyer. Kapur's segment was originally slated to be directed by Anthony Minghella, who passed away just before the filming began. Two segments, directed by Scarlett Johansson and Andrey Zvyagintsev, were not included in the final version of the film, but are added as extras on the Blu-ray release.
Mixing ten to eleven stories in one movie means that each one has to be short in time, and that is precisely what we get in "New York, I Love You." There is a story about a Jewish lady that is getting married to a Jewish man, but is attracted to the man of Indian descent (he is also to her) who sold her the nuptial ring. This is my favorite segment of the film. There is also the story about a thief that unknowingly steals from the girlfriend of another thief, just to gain her affection. Then, there is a segment about a pick-up artist that meets his match. Another favorite is the one in which a pharmacist convinces a young man to take his daughter to the prom. Unbeknown to the young man, the girl happens to be handicapped. Although each story is different, some of them are somewhat connected with the same characters, but most of them are not. However, continuity is not really an important factor here. It's all about different kinds of love in the big city.
"New York, I Love You" has an impressive cast - old and new Hollywood -- that includes Natalie Portman, Andy Carcia, Bradley Cooper, James Caan, Ethan Hawke, Julie Christie, Hayden Christensen, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Robin Wright Penn, Chris Cooper, Rachel Bilson, Eli Wallach, Cloris Leachman, John Hurt, and many more. The music and the cinematography are also impressive, and really enhance the stories. Can't wait to see the next installment of this very interesting series. The BLU-RAY includes interviews with director, Brett Ratner, Mira Nair, Yvan Attal, Josh Marston, and Shunji Iwai; the two additional segments not included in the film; and the theatrical trailer. (France/USA, 2009, color, 103 min plus additional materials). Reviewed January 31, 2010. Vivendi Entertainment. Reviewed on January 31, 2010 by Eric Gonzalez exclusively for [...].