Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 103 minutes
Release date: 20 May 2010
From the producer Emmanual Benbihy of Paris, je t’aime it follows the same formula with an ensemble cast starring in a collection of short stories of looking for love, this time based in NYC versus Paris. There are eleven short films (ten segments and a transition) each of which run approximately ten minutes and have different directors and writers. Unfortunately this makes for a disjointed film with too many characters introduced fleetingly before being snatched away leaving the audience to ponder when they will make a clever return. Together with the appearance of new threads in rapid succession leaves you exhausted and wondering when it’s all going to stop. You would expect that time would just fly at this pace with eleven stories in 103 minutes but the reverse occurs with it just dragging while you wonder how it will tie in together neatly. If it had one of those clever intersecting ending it might have have saved the whole film. It also suffers from lack of emotional connection to the characters in this one night stand smorgasbord.
Jiang Wen directs vignette one starring Hayden Christensen (Ben), Andy Garcia (Garry) and Rachel Bilson (Molly) which draws you in immediately and then left wanting more as we jump to the next featuring Natalie Portman. This is an interesting portrayal of love and marriage according to Orthodox Jewish faith directed by Mira Nair. Number three has Orlando Bloom assisted by Christina Ricci to create a musical score which transforms into creating music together. It is a tad corny and Ricci just looks weird. Yvan Attal directs the quirky Ethan Hawke as a writer trying to pick up hooker Maggie Q which provides the funniest dialogue in the film. Number five is the most creative of the vignettes and worth sitting through the first four to be pleasantly surprised at the twist. The other stars to feature in the remaining segments include Chris Cooper, Robin Wright Penn, James Can, Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Bradley Cooper, John Hurt, Eli Wallach, Julie Christie who still looks amazingly beautiful and Cloris Leachman. Natalie Portman returns to write and direct vignette eight.
Though there are pretty picture postcard shots of New York such as Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Chrysler building, Central Park, Dakota Building etc. it fails to capture the vibe and essence of NYC which makes it truly unique. You also didn’t get a real sense of the differences of each of the five boroughs featured leaving it flat, it could have been any city in the world except for the typical kodak moments. Hoping to be transported there i was left feeling disappointed.
It offers an array on a tasting plate but instead of stimulating your appetite and tantalising the tastebuds just leaves you feeling bloated. Less really is more.