New York, I Love You [Blu-ray]
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With a couple of key exceptions, the film appears to be more of a valentine to Lower Manhattan. Consequently, there is a fashionably edgy look to the short stories. Israeli-born French director Yvan Attal epitomizes this feeling in two episodes. The first deals with an aggressively talkative writer (an irritating Ethan Hawke) throwing a barrage of romantic and sexual overtures at a sleek Asian woman who appears to have heard it all (Maggie Q). The other is marginally better, focusing on a chance conversation outside a restaurant between a woman taking a cigarette break (an effortlessly sexy Robin Wright Penn) and a man intrigued by her emotional availability (Chris Cooper). Both have O. Henry-type twist endings that make them ultimately entertaining.
A couple of other entries feel more gimmicky by comparison. Brett Ratner's mostly comic entry features Anton Yelchin as a naïve high-school student and Olivia Thirlby as his unexpected prom date with James Caan as her pushy pharmacist father.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
By contrast, the New York film is comprised of 11 longer pieces of approximately 10 minutes apiece. More notably, characters from separate pieces often cross paths...and some pieces are cleaved into parts and reappear later in the film. That means you might see Hayden Christensen or Ethan Hawke later in the film...even when you sag your shoulders when they pop up in the first place.
The only piece that will stick with me was submitted by the always wonderful Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding). Her film with Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan is transcendent. The smiles emitted by Portman and Khan in their duely imagined ceremony (you have to see the film to appreciate what I mean there) makes the entire viewing worthwhile.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Maybe I have no class or culture for this sort of film, but I thought this film was awful. One of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. I don't know! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert L. Anderson
From the opening vignette in a cab, I was afraid this was going to be one of those lots-of-characters-cross-paths-searching-for-love-in-the-big-heartless-city mashups, but this is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lady O
I LOVE THE WAY THEY HAVE DIFFERENT ACTRESSES, ACTORS IN THIS FILM, (CHRIS COOPER) (ROBIN WRIGHT PENN) (ANDY GARCIA) (ETHAN HAWKE) (CHRISTINA RICCI) (SHIA LA B. Read morePublished 13 months ago by che77ypop 11
Terrible! We gave up after 20 minutes and turned it off. This is almost 20% of the total length of this film. Read morePublished 13 months ago by RLR
This movie began well but soon became boring. I didn't find any single scene worth watching in spite of the surprises that came up which were not that great anyway. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Tesha