Movie Review: New York, I Love You

Do you want to be loved? Or throw stuff at the screen in anger?

Just by the nature of their subject matter – given they’re almost always about love and shit, in the case of Valentines Day, Love Actually, He’s Just Not That Into You, et al, it’s normally that there’s someone out there for everyone, no matter how much your face looks like a pre-schooler has drawn on your features with crayon on a bumpy bus ride – anthology films are a polarizing proposition. Some people find them charming and uplifting. Some people would rather gargle wasps – but then I guess the message is that there really is someone out there for everyone, even if your penchant is swilling insects around in your mouth.

New York, I Love you, the follow up to 2006’s Paris, Je T’AimeShanghai, I Love You, Jerusalem, I Love You and Rio, Eu Te Amo are also planned – is one such film, and concerns the likes of Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, The O.C.’s Rachel Bilson and Ethan Hawke bumping around said city falling in love with each other – as well as the inspiring skyscrapers and lush public parks that are the backdrop of their romance. In that sense, New York, I Love You – and I guess, the thinking behind the films that will follow – is a movie that works just as well as a travelogue as a romantic drama. If you’ve ever been to New York, you might have felt the optimism that throbs through the city. The film is as much a love letter to that feeling as it an ensemble rom com.

And it’s a well made one too, with a cast that do everything required of them– Bradley Cooper and Drea de Matteo’s union is a seductive paring, as are the token old couple, who might as well have had ‘CRY NOW, PLEASE’ subtitled whenever they were on screen. James Caan as a gruff local shopkeeper puts in a nice nod to It’s A Wonderful Life too. But ultimately, like anything that is polarizing, whether you see this film depends on your viewpoint of its subject matter. Are you uncynical or cynical? Do you like Valentines Day or not? And yes, do you like gargling wasps – or bees?

Me? I sort of enjoyed it. But I’m looking forward to Scunthorpe, you’re alright, fancy a shag? more.

James McMahon