New York, I Love You (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/02/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Disappointing compendium of short films, lacking both the wit and invention of the Paris collection, though there are a handful of good moments.

What's it all about?
Produced by the people behind Paris, Je T'aime, New York, I Love You is the second in the Cities of Love series and features 11 short films, most of which are variations on the theme of love.

The films include: Hayden Christensen as a pickpocket attempting to woo Rachel Bilson away from Andy Garcia (directed by Jian Wen); Orlando Bloom (Orblando Gloom) as a musician flirting with his boss's assistant (Christina Ricci) over the phone (director: Shunji Iwai); Ethan Hawke as a writer flirting with an attractive woman (Maggie Q) outside a restaurant (directed by actor Yvan Attal); Anton Yelchin taking chemist James Caan's wheelchair-bound daughter (Olivia Thirlby) to a prom (directed by Brett Ratner); Bradley Cooper and Drea de Matteo as a couple meeting for a second time after a smoking hot one-night-stand (directed by Allen Hughes); Julie Christie as a singer in an old world hotel, attended by a foreign bellhop with a limp (Shia LaBeouf) and John Hurt (directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a script by Anthony Minghella); Robin Wright Penn as an attractive married woman flirting with a man (Chris Cooper) as they smoke outside a restaurant (also directed Yvan Attal); and Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach as an old married couple bickering as they walk to Coney Island (directed by Joshua Marston). There are also linking segments featuring videographer Emilie Ohana, who manages to capture most of the characters on film.

The Good
You know you're in trouble when a short directed by Brett Ratner is the most entertaining film of the collection, but it's the only one with anything approaching wit, energy or charm. Most of the films contain some sort of twist and there are a handful of nice moments (the reveal of Christina Ricci, the final lines of the Hawke and Q film, the climax of the Leachman/Wallach story) but they don't quite make up for the dullness of the other films.

The Bad
The main problem is that all the films feel too similar – Kapur's film stands out visually, for example, but it's also the most frustrating in terms of story. It also doesn't help that the collection features two of the woodenest possible actors in Bloom and Christensen.

Worth seeing?
Ultimately, the good films in New York, I Love You aren't quite good enough to make it worth sitting through the bad ones, although you would happily sit through an entire full-length feature about Anton Yelchin and Olivia Thirlby's characters.

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Content updated: 20/04/2019 05:13

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