New York Minute is one of those perplexing films that doesnít seem to really appeal to any particular demographic. Itís made for small children, yet some of the jokes obviously appeal to the teenage boys in the crowd. It also doesnít seem to have a plot. Basically-Mary-Kate and Ashley run around in dozens of outfits, get into some ìadventuresî, and use their mass appeal and marketability as a way to escape developing that bothersome thing called a plot. There. I saved you the trouble of sitting through an 86 minute (and every moment much too long) movie.
One of the main problems with this movie is that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (God help the poor soul who calls them ìthe Olsen twinsî) are no longer actresses or entertainers. They are brands cleverly disguised as painfully thin, saucer eyed teenagers. Their acting skills are mediocre, putting them in a league with Hilary Duff and other teen ìactressesî who are really just brand names themselves.
Out of the two, Mary-Kate is certainly the better actress, and her roll as ìRoxy Ryanî a slouchy grunge rocker-chick is mildly funny. Ashley serves only to be annoying and whiny, as the super-organized Jane Ryan.
New York Minute is about two sisters who grew apart after the death of their mother. Roxanne and Jane Ryan, polar opposites, have lived in the same house since their motherís death without really interacting except to chide each other and trade insults. When Jane must deliver a speech that will win her a scholarship to Oxford, she runs into Roxy, who is on the way to a Simple Plan concert to make her mark in the grunge rock world. (Wow, what a coincidence). They, after extremely stupidly accepting a ride from Andy Richter with a Chinese accent (because, apparently, he is the ìnumber one adopted sonî of the head of the Chinese music pirates) they find themselves embroiled in a black market music scam.
They traipse around New York with all the acting skills of a animated bobble-head doll for a while, and when they tire of that, they try on a million different outfits, walk around in towels, meet ìhotî guys, and generally act very bubbly and lipglossafied.
The strange thing about this movie is it is bad, but you donít seem to realize it while youíre in the theatre. You get some cheap laughs, but the filmís impact seems to melt away once you step out of the theatre into the cheerful crowd of pre-teens.
The only worrying thing about this movie is itís very blatant stereotyping. African-American people run a hair salon and say bling-bling a lot, Chinese people run a black market music piracy scam, and Midwestern people are country bumpkins who drive RVs. Itís actually kind of insulting.
Otherwise, ìNew York Minuteî is okay to take your kids, and they may enjoy it, but it may be a bit painful for the over-ten crowd.
This is Natalie Johnson for movie magazine.
© 2004 - Natalie Johnson - Air Date: 5/12/04
New York Minute
USA - 2004