14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Self-Conscious, Self-Important, Self-Satisfied--"New York, I Love You" Lacks The Heart Of A Great City,
This review is from: New York, I Love You (DVD)
One of the advantages or disadvantages of being my friend (depending on who you ask and after which film) is that I will undoubtedly make you watch a movie you might not ordinarily have chosen for yourself. Usually this works out well and we can uncover a little gem or perhaps an ambitious picture that doesn't quite hit the mark but is noteworthy nonetheless. Rarely, however, do I have to apologize. Unfortunately, that's precisely and instinctually what I did when the credits rolled on "New York, I Love You." I turned to my friend and said "I'm sorry." What seemed like a can't miss proposition--talented directors, top notch cast, a charming template in "Paris, je t'aime"--became one of the most disappointingly painful experiences of my movie year. Where "Paris" had romance and charm amidst its highbrow artiness--"New York" just has self-conscious pretensions.
Constructed, just like "Paris," in vignettes by varying directors--"New York" never succeeded in bringing a unifying sense to these disparate stories. Some were baffling, some out-of-place, some seemingly without point. The one thing they all had in common was an air of stifling self-importance. The complete lack of playfulness, humor and absurdity (or color, this is a very white New York) really does a disservice to a city of great vitality. But based on these maudlin tales, I wouldn't be offering this DVD up for sale at the tourism bureau. I have a feeling that those who love this movie will think that everyone else has missed the point--perhaps aren't sophisticated enough. But having been called a film snob, seen almost everything in existence, taught graduate studies in film--I can assure you that I didn't miss this film's "point." I missed its heart and soul.
Oddly enough, the segment that sticks out like a sore thumb is Brett Ratner's (the film's most commercial an oddest choice of director) piece. Why? It is the only segment with humor and an actual through-line plot. So out of place, but at least it works with a little actual feeling in its slight story. Other than that, I enjoyed exactly one other moment when international star Maggie Q avoids an attempted pick-up. "New York, I Love You" really is put together by talented people--I have other films by some of the directors in my DVD collection. I wished they had attempted something less "significant" and more real. With Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, James Caan and the wonderful Julie Christie--even these draws couldn't bring me back to "New York" again. KGHarris, 9/10.