Film Reviews

New York, I Love You Offers Corny Big Apple Collisions

Billed as a "collective feature film," New York, I Love You is the second in the "Cities of Love" series, an idea that has so far proved better in theory than execution. As with its predecessor, Paris je t'aime, there are hits and misses. Producer Emmanuel Benbihy decreed that each of the 11 segments be set in a specific neighborhood, but only a few manage to capture the spirit of their surroundings. The duds, like a pickpocket three-way with Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, and Rachel Bilson and Mira Nair's corny collision between Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan, have a canned, flattened quality that drags the collective down. Orlando Bloom has some fun with the lonely freelance life, greasing up to play a composer-for-hire with an impossible client, and Ethan Hawke and Maggie Q reimagine the dynamic of the street-corner pickup. But the most effective entries bring bitter and sweet to their snapshots of the city's most elusive quality: intimacy.

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Michelle Orange is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.