New York, I Love You Review

New York, I Love You film still

Score

This shabby catalogue of scattershot vignettes only ever strives to harden New York's superficial outer crust.

First Paris, Je T'Aime attempted to reduce one of the world's great cities into a glossy, throwaway travel guide. Then Tokyo! had a go. Now the Big Apple gets the love letter treatment in New York, I Love You (what else?).

Like 'The City of Light', NYC is a romanticists wet dream – its busy sidewalks and postcard skyline are stitched tightly into America's rich cultural tapestry. It's a neverland, a beacon of everything good and glowing, the jewel of western civilisation. At least, that's how cinema has it.

New York is, always has been, and always will be, a cinematic city. Generations of audiences have been seduced by this unknowable concrete mistress through the affectionate odes of countless poets, artists and movie icons past and present. But there's a paradox here: cinema is inherently artificial, its projections are quixotic and fundamentally intangible.

Perhaps fittingly, then, this shabby catalogue of scattershot vignettes only ever strives to harden New York's superficial outer crust. What we get are snapshots of 'everyday' New Yorkers merrily conversing, pickpocketing, learning, chancing, falling in and out of love in and generally galavanting about town.

Vapid, self-satisfied, painfully contrived characters all – embodied by a cavalcade of red carpet regulars, most of whom are running off IV drips full to bursting with freshly-squeezed, concentrated ego. Where's Travis Bickle when you need him?

This is New York via Hollywood as seen through a lens smeared thick with vaseline and treacle. It's mom's apple pie without the filling. Hollow. Flavourless. Inadequate.

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