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May 17, 2010 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

New York, I Love You

After the celebrated Paris Je Taime; an anthology of short films detailing love and longing and set against the classically romanticised backdrop of Paris, the producers have compiled a follow up—this time set in New York. Yet while Paris Je Taime offered a wide array of perspectives of love in the famed city, New York, I Love You doesn’t quite manage to deliver in the same way.

Firstly, from the diversity of filmmakers contributing, the collection doesn’t strike that many differing chords. A substantial proportion of the shorts lack any stylistic differences in direction and follow similar format in their plotting and delivery. One of the things that made Paris Je Taime so captivating was the variety of tones and stylistic differences among the films. In one short, we were watching a tender conversation between a dying man and a paramedic. Next, we were in a highly stylised vampire episode with Elijah Wood. New York, I Love You doesn’t quite provide this luxury, with a lot of the episodes bleeding into one another and sadly, the quantity of ho-hum shorts outweigh the memorable.

But the beauty of this format is that even if you aren’t fully immersed, it’s only a moment of time before a new story begins, and rest assured, there are some gems. Highlights for me included Joshua Marston’s funny and touching portrayal of an older couple’s anniversary, Yvan Attal’s street encounter with Chris Cooper and Robin Wright Penn and especially, Shekhar Kapur’s haunting piece with Julie Christie and a quiet and surprisingly moving performance from Shia LaBeouf. This was one short that stood out from the rest, cloaked in dreamy composition and mystery.

But everyone will have their own favorites, and half of the fun of the anthology is discussing them afterwards. While Paris Je Taime is a better example of this format at its best, New York provides some charming vignettes and interesting takes on its motif. It may lack the diversity that could have made it great, but there are plenty of familiar faces, plenty of surprises (an enjoyable film from Rush Hour director Brett Ratner?) and thankfully, still plenty to fall in love with.

New York, I Love You
Director: Multiple


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