New York, I Love You (2009)

New York, I Love You (2009) — A sort-of sequel to Paris, je t’aime, this is several short films edited together.  It’s not as good as its Parisian counterpart, but that one had the Coen brothers, Alfonso Cuaron, Gus Van Sant, Christopher Doyle, Wes Craven, Walter Salles, Tom Tykwer, and Alexander Payne.  New York, I Love You also boasts some big name directors like Mira Nair, Shekhar Kapur, Brett Ratner, and actress Natalie Portman.  I feel like talking about some of the things that bugged me, even though I did like this movie overall.  Firstly while Paris, je t’aime had a varied group of directors do several wildly different short films, New York, I Love You has a certain visual homogeny.  Most of it looks the same.  The big exception is the Shekhar Kapur segment with Julie Christie, John Hurt, and Shia LeBeouf.  Unfortunately that’s the segment also lacking the most in narrative clarity.  Oddly enough the most entertaining segment belong to that mangler of the X-Men franchise Brett Ratner.  His segment has Anton Yelchin, Olivia Thirby, Blake Lively and James Caan and is about a prom night that ends in a memorable Central Park experience.  Which sort of segues to my other problem with the film as a whole.  The movie seems to be mostly Manhattan-set.  The Paris movie reflected the different areas of that city, but the New York installment seems to pay little attention to four out of five boroughs (and the scenes that aren’t in Manhattan pretty much blend in with the ones that are due to that aforementioned visual homogeny).  But despite those small issues with the movie I liked it.  In fact most of my problems are due to unfavorable comparisons with Paris, je t’aime and you really should evaluate a movie on its own merits instead of comparing it to others.  I guess sequels are a sort of exception to that but really this is only a sequel in terms of form so taken on its own it’s a solidly entertaining movie.

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