The Mixed Tape

New York, I Love You by Nolan Wilson Goff


Disclaimer: I have never been to New York City.

After seeing New York, I Love You, I’m dying to go. Inspired by Paris, je t’aime, New York, I Love You follows a very similar formula.

11 filmmakers, 11 stories, and a Robert Altman size cast (including Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Shia Labeouf, Orlando Blooom, Robin Wright Penn, Eli Wallach, and Chris Cooper), bring New York City to life in this anthology film.

Critical praise has been mixed, many agreeing that the film is an inconsistent, plot-less film.

Well there lies the beauty.

The stories (each directed by a different director) intertwine with one another and connections are made from character to character. Remarkably, the fragmented storyline is still able to keep viewers captivated.

The film is simply about fragments of time and how characters interact with one another throughout life.  Although the film is a tiny glimpse into the character’s lives and cultures, New York, I Love You paints a realist world that hasn’t been seen since the Italian neo-realist movement.

The remarkable performances of Ethan Hawke, Natalie Portman, Shia Labeouf (what a shock?!), and Orlando Bloom really bring the film to life.

Bloom’s performance is the centerpiece of director Shunji Iwai‘s segment.  Without a doubt my favorite storyline, Iwai’s story of the hopeless, writer romantic (Bloom) and the unlikely girl next door (Christina Ricci) is something every girl would call “cute” and every guy would have to fight off emotion to hide it.

Even hack director Brett Ratner directed a segment that had heart (something he has never done, outside of TV’s Prison Break).

If you are looking for a three act plot with a singular storyline, forget about this film. If you seek a story that is foundationally simple, yet sophisticated in its realism and heart, New York, I Love You would be a wonderful choice. The fragmented storyline won’t give you a singular storyline, but it will paint a vivid picture of life and a small period of time: a period of time so small that if you blink, it could be lost for good in the Big Apple.

(3 out of 4 stars)

I Love You,

-Nolan Wilson Goff

Check out the trailer below:


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