Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New York, I Love You (2008)

Number Rolled: 80
Movie Name/Year: New York, I Love You (2008)
Genre: Romance
Length: 103 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Randall Balsmeyer, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman, Brett Ratner
Writer: Hu Hong, Yao Meng, Isreal Horovitz, Suketu Mehta, ShunjiIwai, Olivier Lecot, Jeff Nathanson, Xan Cassavetes, Stephen Winter, Anthony Minghella, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston, Hall Powell, James C. Strouse, Emmanuel Benbihy, Tristan Carne, Yvan Attal
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Andy Garcia, Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Irrfan Khan, Emilie Ohana, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, Anton Yelchin, James Caan, Olivia Thirlby, Blake Lively, Drea de Matteo, Julie Christie, John Hurt, Shia LaBeouf, Ugur Yuvel, Jacinda Barrett

This movie was created as a kind of love letter written from those involved to New York City. The plot of the movie is less clear than the plot of the segmentations within. Love. Sex. Chance. The three things that New York has been known for. Even before Sex and the City, New York was the place people came to in order to make it big; the city that never sleeps. After all, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

As a born-and-bred New Yorker, when I see a movie that takes place in my city, I’m going to judge it more harshly. Mainly because I live here, and have lived here, for almost thirty years; my entire life. Movies and television shows tend to show a glorified version or an ultra dirty version of what New York is. It’s either the place where everyone has a chance, or the place where everyone gets killed. I don’t feel that represents this city correctly.

In this segmented film we follow a bunch of character all going about their daily lives. None of them really get to know each other outside of their segment, but that’s representative of New York. People taking the train avoid eye contact with anyone else. People walking by each other don’t nod their heads in greeting unless they already have a connection – or if they’re tourists. It’s a busy city, with busy people that don’t have time.

I read a lot of critiques on this film. What I saw got me so angry I had to walk away from the computer for a few minutes. The same critics that loved Sex and the City, said this film read like a playboy letter. Critics like that are why I write this blog.

Not only that, but they didn’t seem to understand. Yes, it was segmented, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was an anthology. Each segment shared a similarity in tone, but they weren’t independent of each other. It’s not even just that the characters bled from one story to another, it’s that there really was a singular viewpoint; a silent narrator that is guiding the viewer from behind the scenes through New York. Showing us what they see. Either the critics that missed that had no understanding of the movie what-so-ever and therefore no right to criticize or they had made their judgment five minutes in and the ending had no sway over them.

If you don’t like romance than this is not for you. Granted, there are some very comedic and even some thriller-worthy moments, but it is first and foremost a love story; both involving people and the city itself.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

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