New York, I hate you- This movie is awful. I had such high hopes for it after it’s prequel, of sorts, Paris Je T’aime. If you’re unfamiliar with the films’ concept it’s a collection of short films, somewhat connected, about a city, Paris in the original, and New York City here. The short films here are so cringe inducing and boring that I couldn’t wait for the film to end. It has one, possibly two, worthwhile stories. One involving an elderly couple who are celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary by taking a trip to the beach. It has a beautiful moment, by far the best in the film, where the elderly couple embrace on the beach. It’s almost tear inducing. Other than that section there’s not much else going on, a scene where Bradley Cooper is meeting up with Drea De Matteo and we are privy to their internal thoughts is okay, but that’s really it in terms of the “good” stuff.
How about the bad stuff I hear you ask? There’s just too much to recount, but there were two scenes, in particular, that made me want to scoop my eyes out of my head with a spoon and then cut off my ears with a rusty knife. The first being a scene between Rachel Bilson, Andy Garcia and Hayden Christiensen. It has the worst dialogue I’ve heard in a long, long time. It doesn’t help that Hayden Christiensen has the acting ability of a baboon, while Rachel Bilson’s performance would make Kristen Stewart’s classic wooden delivery seem like Diane Keaton’s performing it. It’s utter shit all round. I threw up in my mouth at some of the dialogue. It’s so bad. So bad. I don’t even know what the hell they were talking about together it’s so bad. The other scene that made me want to cry involved Olivia Thirlby pretending to be wheelchair bound. I assume the writer intended for this story to be whimsical and sweet, but it ends up being patronising and damn right offensive to disabled people, actually, it’s offensive to everyone! One part of the story is beyond tacky. Thirlby, who at this point we assume is disabled, wraps her arms up on some tree branches thus leaving her legs dangling below her and she then proceeds to ask her date to take off her underwear and fuck her while she swings from the branches. It isn’t sweet or romantic, it’s so contrived and stupid that I wanted to turn off the movie there and then.
The rest of the shorts are crappy and forgettable. Ethan Hawke, despite his talent, can’t make the awful dialogue in his short seem real or entertaining. Chris Cooper’s scene is pure cheese. Natalie Portman’s is so boring I can’t even recall it. Shia LeBeouf as a disabled east european bell-hop was stunningly bad. And on and on it goes.
And, possibly the worst thing to come out of this movie, is that you get no sense at all for NYC. These scenes could be happening anywhere in the world. It’s garbage.
Marks out of ten – Three