9 February 2010 | Matt_Layden
New York, Where Is The Love?
An American take on Paris, je t'aime, in which several shorts tell the tales of lovers within New York City.
My interest in this film was mild, it boasted a large cast and several directors, but I was more interested in Paris, je t'aime. New York, I Love You comes off as a poor attempt at trying to show talent and style. The film is good, but not as good as it should, or wants to be. I found it to be very uneven with each short and I truly liked only one of them.
Instead of going into each short, beat by beat, I'll highlight the ones I care enough to talk about, for better or worse. We start off with Bradley Cooper and Justin Bartha, each getting into a cab and having a small argument over which street to take. This is our introduction to this film, it's interesting and mildly funny, but offers us no insight into either character or their situation. We go on through other shorts, involving a bald Natalie Portman and lazy boy Orlando Bloom. I found that a lot of the shorts had characters that I just didn't have interest in. For a short, one of the main objectives is to grab the viewer's attention with either a character or situation, many of these shorts fail to do this.
The one short that I absolutely loved, is also the most basic one. Two people who are in love walk down the street together. Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach are perfect and in their old age outshine everyone else in this piece. Their short is soft and heartfelt. The only true love story in this whole piece. While other pieces were interesting and entertaining (Maggie Q and Ethan Hawke) none had the presence of Leachman and Wallach.
As mentioned before, some shorts are uneven and try to pull small twists here and there. Most of them are obvious (Ratner's piece & Cooper/Wright Penn) but I give them credit for trying. Everyone does a decent job in their roles, as I mentioned, this is a pretty big cast. Shia LaBeouf stars in the oddest segment of them all, along with the beautiful Julie Christie. It'll have some people scratching their heads, as it seems to be the odd one out of the group.
One big problem is that the film doesn't showcase New York enough, it should almost be a third character, but instead it's simply the backdrop. The film suffers from the lack of ethnicity that should be present. This is New York after all, but instead we get the beautiful cast, it doesn't feel real.
The film is pretty much hit or miss and nothing jumps out at you as a wow moment. Each segment is directed well, but nothing memorable. I read each segment was given a short amount of time to film everything, that has its pros and cons. Why not take more time to craft everything?