New York, I Love You

Words can not describe how excited i was at the prospect of New York, I Love You. As a fan of the original, Paris, Je T’aime, i was expecting the idea to translate to my native New York. The original is so influential in my cinematic take of the industry that i decided to make this blog a homage to the film.

The genius behind the original film is that it takes each arrondissement or district of Paris and gives it to a different international director. The directors were allowed to do almost anything they wanted to do with love in their short story. Each section was then strung together with images of the city and the flashing lights of the Eiffel Tower. As a whole the film showed anything but the Hollywood ending of a love film. Their were stories of misunderstood flirting, a father daughter relationship, the story of how two mimes meet and the final segment show a lonely woman realizing she has fallen in love with the city of Paris. Some of the segments left you bewildered but others made you think and evaluate each relationship you have.

It was this critically acclaimed film that spurred a prospective series entitled, The Cities of Love. The next film was New York, I Love You. I desperately wanted to see this film in theaters but sadly it was not playing in snowy Syracuse. Instead i had to wait till it came out on DVD.

Maggie Q and Ethan Hawk

By evading the opinions of friends and reviews i went into watching the film with the idea that it would be amazing. Unfortunately I was let down. The same concept of segments created by international directors starring international stars was there but something else was not. The film was not broken down to each district, borough or neighborhood of New York. The scenes’ locations seemed random and often unidentified.

The was not hard to get over but what i could not was the incestuous intermingling of the actors. In between sections was an ongoing story of a women using a camera to film the city. Through her journey she meets half the cast. This might not have bothered everyone but this detracted so much from the movie. How realistic is it to have a women running into so many people in a city of millions. It reminds me of the unrealistic aspect and intermingling of characters that occurred in Crash. The films essence is that its a snapshot of love in a city of millions.  That love is happening simultaneously around is so many different ways that we do not even recognize it.  That there is not necessary one kind of love but all sorts of different way to express it and different forms it takes.  It was unnecessary to link them in the way the producers of New York, I Love You decided to.

If you look at the segments individually they were quite remarkable and interesting.  My personally favorite was the old couple in Brighton Beach on their anniversary.  New York, I Love You is best in segments but together falls flat and underwhelms a fan.

Shia Lebeouf in character

Next up for the Cities of Love series is Rio, Eu Te Amo and Shanghai, I Love You.  My eyes will be closely watching these films to see if they can live up to the original or continue to diminish the series.

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