"New York, I Love You" was a good film, However it had the potential to be a great film. Here is why I am disappointed...
1. Paris Je T'aime was incredible - It's very difficult for the average film goer to see short films, even the ones nominated for Academy Awards - so I was psyched when this film was released because it was a collection of short films or "vignettes" all with the same goal - to pay a cinematic tribute to the city of love. An idea to gather some of the most creative directors, actors and writers to create this homage was so fantastic, I thought that this idea could continue to many amazing cities around the world. The problem with New York, I Love You is that it misses the point of reflecting on the most amazing city in the world - instead it recounts mini love stories using NYC as a background (which has already been done before -Woody Allen, Ed Burns, etc)
2. The directing styles were all too similar - I guess the Paris version has the advantage of having better directors - and by "better" I mean directors with a more distinct aesthetic style (The Coen Brothers, Wes Craven, Alexander Payne, Gus Van Sant etc.). With this version, I could not tell a difference between stories - It felt like one director creating a film featuring vignettes about "slice of life" living in NYC. The only difference was that some of the stories had character voice overs - that is it! The only vignette that felt completely different was the one written by Anthony Minghella - and because it was different it actually felt out of place from the rest of the film.
3. Almost insulting to New Yorkers - First, I will agree with many other critics on this - there was not nearly enough cultural diversity (mostly everyone was white and middle-class and of course - attractive). Second, apparently everyone in NYC smokes. Third, in a post- 911 world, it is almost distracting to do a film about NYC and not mention it - this film could have easily taken place in 1999. I can literally think of a dozen ideas about paying homage to NYC and I think this film does a disservice to New Yorkers by ignoring its obvious history. Maybe I am just being overly protective of my favorite city?
4. The film is completely lost in mediocrity - I think if a viewer has not seen the Paris version, they might enjoy this version. But because I had the pleasure, I found this version completely mediocre - I can not even tell you what my favorite vignette is because all of them were pretty bland. I guess I would say the one directed by Brett Ratner (surprisingly) simply because it was the most entertaining. There were a few humorous twists and turns in a couple of stories and I enjoy most of the actors/actresses featured - although I felt most of them were portraying a stereo-typed version of a "New Yorker".
5. It was the only film that I was anticipating this fall! - I really have no interest in seeing anything else in the theaters until the end of November. This was the one film that I was highly anticipating and it did not meet my expectations....how disappointing.