New York, I Love You

Another one of those omnibus movies, where a bunch of different directors helm short films that share a theme or location - in this case, the Big Apple - New York, I Love You is a sequel of sorts to 2006's Paris, je t'aime, organized by the same French producers who envision a whole series of movies dedicated to romance across the world's great cities.

Paris was like a short film festival, with the self-contained segments presented as separate entities, some good, some bad, take your pick. New York takes a slightly different approach, eschewing titles, credits, and blackouts between the shorts, and even revisiting several of the characters at various points in the film, to create more of an urban patchwork quilt ala Robert Altman's Short Cuts (but not really). The big name directors who made Paris a curiosity (the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Alexander Payne, Alfonso Cuarón, et al) are not to be found here, and the scripts on offer are weak: mostly shaggy dog stories relying on half-baked plot twists and vulgar sexual references. There is also a puzzling dearth of genuine New Yorkers in this star-studded cast (with the exceptions of James Caan, Eli Wallach, and Drea de Matteo).

I was mildly entertained by the film, but none of the segments add up to much, and neither does the feature as a whole. At least Paris, je t'aime had a few moments that truly soared. New York, I Love You has none. Better luck with the next in the series - which, if it ever happens, is apparently all about loving Shanghai.