New York Minute (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/07/2004

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 minutes

Not quite as bad as you might have been led to believe, thanks to perky performances from its two stars. Still pretty awful, though.

In the States, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are a phenomenon: they made their screen debut aged 9 months in the TV series Full House and today, aged 18 they head their own multi-million dollar cosmetics/video/publishing company.

Over here, however, they are probably best known for their blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo gag in the dismal Charlie’s Angels sequel. Which is to say, not very well known at all. The girls are hoping all that will change, however, with the release of their latest feature, New York Minute – at any rate, they’re probably hoping it will do better in the rest of the world than it did in the States, where it flopped dismally, both critically and commercially.

Plot As Wholesome As You Might Expect

The plot is as squeaky-clean and wholesome as you might expect, though the girls do spend slightly longer in towels than you might expect from a PG movie. Ashley Olsen plays uptight, overachieving Jane Ryan, who needs to give a speech in New York to win a scholarship to Oxford University.

Mary-Kate Olsen plays her mismatched sister Roxanne, a grungy slacker, hoping to crash a video shoot in New York and slip her demo tape to the band. Along the way, the girls get mixed up in a plot involving Evil Video Pirates (woo, scary) and have to dodge Eugene Levy’s borderline obsessive truant officer. Oh, and they learn to, like, totally love each other and stuff too.

The film definitely has problems – for one thing, it’s the sort of film that thinks a cameo by Jack Osbourne is funny. Similarly, Andy Richter’s performance as a white villain who thinks he’s Chinese is painfully embarrassing to watch, not to mention borderline racist. It’s also hard not to feel sorry for Eugene Levy, who might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says, “I only did it for the money”.

Spot The Celebrity Illness

That said, the girls are kind of adorable and if you get bored, you can always play Spot The Troubled One (one of them is currently being treated for “exhaustion” and/or anorexia and/or cocaine addiction, according to the tabloids).

In fact, given that the girls are so closely associated with a brand (the ‘marykateandashley’ brand), it seems oddly fitting that they resemble perfect plastic dolls, with their unnaturally wide eyes and gleaming smiles.

There are one or two good scenes, such as the fight scene, where Roxanne discovers that Jane speaks Chinese and Jane finds out that Roxy can kick ass, Matrix-style. There’s also the obligatory dressing up scene – this one takes place in the House Of Bling (read: The House Of Black Female Stereotypes) and is mildly amusing.

For the most part, then, this is a fluffy, harmless comedy aimed squarely at girls aged 7 to 15. With that in mind, it’s not unwatchable, despite the occasional dodgy moment and it should probably be a hit with its target audience.

Film Trailer

New York Minute (PG)
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 08:01

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