New York, I Love You

“New York, I love You” is a collection of eleven short films created in 2009, about love stories in New York City. Each short film is directed by a different director who places their own perspective about love in the form of lust, companionship, loss, deceit, and playfulness.

At face value, the theory of this film is no better than the 2010 film “Valentine’s Day” or the 2011 film “New Years Eve,” both of which rest of the laurels of their celebrity-packed casts and cheesily connected plot lines. These films lack true ingenuity exhibit exactly what I would expect from a cash cow blockbuster film – recognizable faces, an addictive love plot, and shallow character development. “New York, I Love You” follows this same path by casting the popular faces of Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman and Bradley Cooper. Yes, the first film with Bilson is awkward and amateur in both acting and writing to a painful extent. However, if you can move past this scene, the creativity, wit, character development, and ambiguity create a viewing experience that is both refreshing and engaging without losing integrity.

What “New York, I Love You” does is create room for dialogue post film, when you wonder more about the characters, their motivations, what was believable and what wasn’t. This kind of conversation is lacking in most blockbuster films with similar casts to these. They leave room for conversation with only regard the quality of graphics, suspense, gore, or crude humor. This is not to say that there isn’t a time and place for each of these in the predictability of most movies, but like a good book, it’s the post experience curiosity that truly makes a work so engaging. Dialogue enables analysis and the ability to truly appreciate a work for the intricacies and thought the writer places into the story line and the characters that live in them.

In the short directed by Shekhar Kapur, Shia LaBeouf plays a severely crippled hotel bellhop that has an ambiguously intimate emotional relationship with Julie Christie. He could perhaps be a simple memory of her once lover, a manifestation of her imagination, or perhaps he is in the present and he is haunted by an obsession with an older woman. In another film directed by Mira Nair, starring Natalie Portland, Nair touches on the arab-jewish relationship, the taboo that exists between these cultures and the ultimate draw of love and curiosity that can also bring them together. These simple unsure yet addictingly fun analyses are what make this movie experience worth watching, as well as the intricacy of the tie between narratives.

The film provides a refreshing audience perspective and thought requirement that is usually not asked of the viewer to participate in. It’s a love affair between us, “New York, I Love You.”

\”New York, I Love You\” Trailer

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