"New York Minute"
Directed by Dennie Gordon ("What a Girl Wants").
Written by Emily Fox, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage.
Starring Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Andy Richter and Eugene
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 5/17/04
Here's what it is about seeing so many
mainstream films: eventually, you'll see them all if you go to
the movies three times a week.
So it was this fair Monday night, as my
choices at the local multiplex were slim. I have seen every
wide release out, save for "Ella Enchanted", "Godsend" and..."New
York Minute." I considered going indie, but there's this
theater five minutes from my house, and I just couldn't resist the
chance to see just how bad the Olsen Twins would do with feature
film fare, since I think they have been doing mostly calendars and
straight-to-video work over the last four years. And hey, I
haven't been able to dedicate a Bellview this year to my boy Aaron
"Deep Fat Fryer" Katzman, maybe the biggest Olsen Twins fan I know.
Aaron's probably already seen this film, but
don't you make the same mistake. Dogshit through and through,
"New York Minute" is the story of single-parent polar opposite kids
Jane (Ashley Olsen) and Roxie (Mary-Kate Olsen) and their quest to
somehow get to a speech at Columbia University and a video shoot
near Columbus Circle, respectively. Hijinks ensue as the girls
face disaster after disaster, including being on the run from a
truancy officer (Eugene Levy), evading a hitman (Andy Richter), and
trying to beat the clock by making their way from somewhere north of
town to their dates with destiny.
"New York Minute", actually, is almost
exactly like "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"...except that in "New
York Minute", every single fucking thing sucks. I'm still not
sure why anyone thinks the Olsen Twins are attractive--their teen
queen mates Lindsay Lohan, Mandy Moore, Jena Malone and Anne
Hathaway, to name a few, are all more camera-friendly--and worse,
they make any sane adult fear for the twins' dining habits every
time they are shown walking from one side of the screen to the
other. Seriously, there are scenes where I thought that in the
case of Ashley, if the camera adds pounds to how you really look,
does she weigh less than 90 pounds? Certainly, she weighs less
than 100 pounds, and when she is accidentally splashed by a
suspiciously-placed puddle, I thought she was going to be knocked to
the ground. A scene near the end of the flick where the twins
are walking down some steps hand-in-hand, I almost couldn't watch,
it was so tense; EAT, for chrissakes!
The twins' acting coach was apparently on
vacation during the shoot, because director Dennie Gordon (the
veteran TV director that gave us "Joe Dirt") doesn't seem to be
doing too much with his leads here on his own, and even more
surprising to me (an Olsen Twins virgin), the twosome have almost no
onscreen charisma, nothing that makes them watchable even if the
things around them are awful. Say what you will about The
Rock, or Lohan, or Vin Diesel in terms of their movies...but, they
are infinitely watchable, and the Olsen Twins don't even have that
going for them.
And, as bad as the twins are, everything
else around them is worse. The script is bad; really bad at
times. It also subtracts logic for anyone even paying
attention--sometimes it takes forever for the two girls to cross the
street, but they can make it from 125th on the East Side to Times
Square in 10 minutes in daytime traffic. Extras constantly
look at the camera. Levy is a featured player here, but
somehow he is unfunny for a full film running time. Richter
goes down with the ship here, but he does get a chuckle or two at
the expense of Asian-Americans everywhere...take that as you will.
The "hardcore" rock band that Roxie idolizes isn't very good; the
two love interests (I don't even remember their names now) of the
twins come off as though they are trying not to laugh while reciting
their horrifically-written lines; the token black sequence in "New
York Minute" features the shittiest black gay character in the brief
history of black gay characters, almost as if someone had watched
those two movie critics that Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier
played on "In Living Color" and thought it would make for a funny
Jeez. The one good thing "New York
Minute" does have going for it is that it is short; at about 85
minutes, at least it's over quickly. Man, what a piece of
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard