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An anthology of short films comprising the work of 11 directors with a variety of stories about love set in New York, in the manner of Paris je t'aime (Paris I Love You).

Review by Louise Keller:
The film is dedicated to the late Anthony Minghella, who wrote one of the vignettes in this mish-mash of New York stories that elicit different emotions: we are perplexed, amused, interested, intrigued, disappointed and bored. The directors are as varied as the themes; it is Shekhar Kapur who directs Minghella's melancholy script about a 5th Avenue hotel and its elegant guest (Julie Christie) who likes violets. Along the same lines as Paris je t'aime, the film is a collection of unrelated stories that are meshed together without rhyme or reason. Some of them work, some do not.

Eleven directors offer something different in the mix. The result is like snatches of a conversation; we don't get the whole story but we get a taste. In some cases, like the two men who get in a cab at the same time, we are partially satisfied by the idea, but with others, like the bar scene with Andy Garcia, a girl, a guy and a stolen wallet or the story about the artist who wants to paint a Chinese girl, are ludicrous. There's Natalie Portman's shaved head bride, Orlando Bloom's dazed musician and Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach's old married couple... memorable, but....

The scene in which Ethan Hawke lights an attractive stranger's cigarette with the same flame as he lights his own is one that delivers, but the one when Robin Wright Penn's frustrated wife asks Chris Cooper if he has ever slept with a stranger does not. The fact that the entire film is hit or miss eventually impacts; it feels long, forced, contrived and although there are some interesting moments created by impressive talents, the overall is not endearing. Nor does it give us the New York hit we are expecting.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
As was its predecessor, Paris je t'aime, New York I Love You is too patchy, too haphazard and its lack of context makes it less than satisfying. Despite moments of engagement or wit or interest, the package is unwieldy from the audience's point of view, with no reference points.

The stories are disjointed yet sometimes the same actors turn up in different segments, and the transitions only help to confuse. A few of the stories are more or less self contained - and like short stories, they set us up for a punch line. Others are undisciplined or self indulgent. A considerable effort by all has resulted in less than the sum of its parts.

If the collection provided nothing but fresh glimpses of New York and its residents, it would have achieved more, but there is hardly anything to characterise the city or to show us some aspect we can relate to. And of course New York is not short of material to attract a filmmaker's interest, and as a fan of the city I can never get enough of it. I certainly didn't in this film.

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Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

(France/US, 2009)

CAST: Includes: Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Ethan Hawke, Orlando Bloom, John Hurt, Hayden Christensen, Christina Ricci, Eli Wallach, James Caan, Chris Cooper, Andy Garcia, Shia LaBeouf

PRODUCER: Emmanuel Benbihy, Mariana Grasic

DIRECTOR: Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Shekhar Kapur, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston, Randy Balsmeyer

SCRIPT: Various


EDITOR: Various

MUSIC: Various

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Teresa Mastropiero

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes



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