New York, I Love You
The second instalment of the wholly spurious ‘Cities of Love’ franchise produced by Paris, je t’aime creator Emmanuel Benbihy, New York, I Love You feels about as fresh as a piss-stained Pan Am flight bag. It’s a collection of eleven short films all running at ten minutes long, all shot in one of New York’s five boroughs. As with its Gallic predecessor, they all interweave a little and the roll call of directing talent is impressive and includes Mira Nair, Yvan Attal, Fatih Akin, Brett Ratner and Jiang Wen. Oh yeah, and a couple of actors who thought it would be a hoot to wear riding boots and scream down a speaker cone for a day (Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, who’s segment has mercifully been excised from this cinema release but will be on the DVD).
There are a couple of turgid adaptations of rightly discarded scripts by Israel Horowitz (Author! Author!, Sunshine) staring Hayden Christensen, Orlando Bloom and Christina Ricci at the bottom of their collective games, a whole load of pseudo urban Orientalism and some surprisingly decent performances from veterans Ethan Hawke, Cloris Leachman and the mighty Eli Wallach. It’s all about as romantic as a padded card and as sterile as a mule.
GFT, Glasgow, Fri 8-Thu 21 Oct.