Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: "New York Minute" is Surprisingly Fun (Happy B'day, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 70 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

New York Minute (2004)
Running time: 94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild sensuality and thematic elements
DIRECTOR: Dennie Gordon
WRITERS: Emily Fox, and Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, from a story by Emily Fox
PRODUCERS: Denise Di Novi, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Robert Thorne
EDITORS: Roderick Davis and Michael Jablow
COMPOSER: George S. Clinton
Razzie Awards nominee

COMEDY/FAMILY/ADVENTURE with elements of action

Starring: Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Eugene Levy, Andy Richter, Riley Smith, Jared Padalecki, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Darrell Hammond, Andrea Martin, Mary Bond Davis, Jack Osbourne, and Bob Saget

I’m glad I saw Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s new film, New York Minute. I don’t have to blush when saying that I had a grand time watching it. In the film, Jane Ryan (Ashley Olsen), an uptight overachiever (a 4.2 g.p.a. to boot) travels to New York City to give a major speech at Columbia University for a competition to win a scholarship to Oxford University. Her sister, the rebellious Roxy (Mary-Kate Olsen), is going to skip school so that she can attend a video shoot in NYC for the band A Simple Plan. Roxy hopes to slip demo recording of her band to Simple Plan’s A & R representatives.

The sisters don’t see eye to eye, but they have to work together for the first time in years. Jane looses her all important day planner (which held her speech note cards), and an overzealous truancy officer named Max Lomax (Eugene Levy) is hot on Roxy’s trail. A low rent thug wannabe (Andy Richter) is after the girls because they have something he wants. On the run in the Big Apple, the girls have to use every bit of their resourcefulness to overcome their obstacles, and maybe there’ll be time to find new boyfriends.

Simply put, the film is a hoot and quite fun to watch. It’s not empty or vacuous, although the (a tad bit) overly fantastic film demands that you suspend disbelief. The film has some nice messages about family, and there’s something about watching those Olsen girls working together that’s oddly appealing. They have real charisma and charm, and of course, they’re incredibly gorgeous. And we have to give it up; they’re pretty good comic actresses and together have good screen chemistry.

The director Dennie Gordon and the screenwriters have carefully crafted a film that plays to the girls’ charming screen personalities. That the filmmakers make sure that the leads can carry this delightful farce for almost an hour and a half with hardly a misstep is worthy of notice. The supporting cast is good, though this isn’t one of Eugene Levy’s better outings. Every kids/teen/family flick needs a good soundtrack, and New York Minute has a pretty good one with a (shockingly) tolerable Simple Plan song.

This will probably end up being one of the better family films of the year, and if you’re not a jaded adult, you might relax for a little while and enjoy this delightful girl romp.

7 of 10

2005 Razzie Awards: 2 nominations: “Worst Actress” (Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen) and “Worst Screen Couple” (Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen)


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