Reviewed by: Ken Goding
Why are people supposed to wear clothes? Answer
|Featuring:||Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Eugene Levy, Andy Richter, Darrell Hammond|
|Director:||Dennie Gordon (What a Girl Wants; Joe Dirt)|
|Producer:||Denise DiNovi, Robert Thorne|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.|
“New York Minute” is a day’s adventure involving teenage twins who get wrapped up in a whole lot of mess in a hurry. Jane Ryan (played by Ashley Olsen) simply wants to get to the right place at the right time in order to give a speech, hoping that it will win her a scholarship to Oxford University—far, far away from her twin sister Roxy (played by Mary-Kate Olsen), who just wants to have as much fun as possible, and skip school as much as possible. There is a big rift between them that occurred when their mother died, and since then their relationship hasn’t quite been that of hatred, but they aren’t exactly friends either. This particular morning they head out together as Roxy has once again managed to get out of school, and their adventure begins.
Hot on their heels is Max Lomax (Eugene Levy), a truancy officer who thinks he’s all that when he really isn’t, especially since Roxy has been making him look bad for several years now. This day he is determined to end Roxy’s truancy once and for all, no matter the cost.
Separate from this, local music and video pirates use Roxy as an unwitting accomplice to protect a computer chip containing enough MP3s for them to make millions of dollars. When they fail to get the chip back from her through Benny Bang (Andy Richter), he is also determined to catch them at any cost.
The plot thickens even more when a little dog eats the chip as a snack, and Benny obtains super-organized Jane’s day planner, which she needs back at any cost. The web of mischief gets more and more tangled as time goes on, until finally something big becomes necessary for everything to become untangled.
Morally this movie has some issues that need to be contemplated. While it doesn’t exceed the PG rating, it has some areas that, particularly in a deeper sense, are not good and wholesome. The good news is that the language wasn’t a big issue. The worst that I heard was a whispered “Oh my God,” definitely used in vain. Everything else was fairly mild, and I probably missed it anyway, although Lomax wasn’t always the nicest in the way he talked to other people. There are two rock concerts, one public and one private, though I couldn’t really make out the words. I heard “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am” and little else, but judging by that I’m sure it didn’t have very high standards.
Violence wasn’t a huge thing, but there was a bit. The girls have a fight with Benny Bang (mopping the floor with him) when they could have easily found a way to give him the slip, judging by some of their other escapes. Benny also is urinated on by the dog when he attempts to get the chip back through forced vomiting. Roxy is physically thrown out of a subway train onto the ground when she can’t produce either a ticket or money to pay for her trip, and Lomax hits the ground, as well, while attempting to crowd surf (pretty good Moses impression there, parting a sea of people).
There are some mildly scary images involving the girls on the ledge of a tall building and then falling by way of a window washer’s rig which eventually throws them into a dumpster. There is also a car chase on the streets of New York City with plenty of close calls and non-human objects being hit, with a non-licensed driver at the wheel of an old taxi. Other than that there isn’t too much, some minor things that would take too much space to mention.
Sensuality is where I have the biggest issues with New York Minute, because there is entirely too much and it really didn’t have to happen at all. The movie begins with a dream about being in front of a crowd naked, but doesn’t technically show any nudity, which is the case throughout. Besides the shower scene, both girls ended up without any regular clothes on for a few minutes after they snuck into someone else’s hotel room to clean up, then were discovered. Roxy wass shown in a bathrobe, which isn’t too bad, but Jane had only a towel to cover up, showing the top of her breasts. While wandering the streets of New York like this, a collision with a guy on a bike ended with him on top of Jane in her towel, entirely too suggestive.
Fortunately both girls were back into normal clothes soon, and there was nothing more for a while. Other than kissing, there is a dancing scene in a “booty” shop where people were shown gyrating their hips, often from behind.
When you get into the messages portrayed by this movie, especially from the eyes of a Christian, it gets much deeper than the surface violence and sensuality. Simply put, it makes the twins the heroines who will do anything to achieve their goals, whether or not it is morally right. Sneaking into the hotel room to clean up seems all right in light of the mess Jane was, and the chase scene is sympathetic to them as they run from Lomax the truancy officer. Lomax himself is made out to be a bad guy when in reality he is trying to do his job, although his delusions of grandeur don’t help his image any.
Both girls start out without a boyfriend, yet each manage to pick up one by the end of the day, barely even knowing them. It seems that being good looking matters a whole lot more than character, although both guys did seem to be pretty nice at least on the surface.
Roxy’s reason for skipping school is to go to the public rock concert and hopefully get the band to look at her own band, hardly making her truancy justifiable. To the girls’ credit they do realize that the computer chip contains pirated music eventually, and henceforth look on Benny Bang as a criminal rather than just a mean man.
As a male I am deeply troubled by Jane in a towel because it has the tendency to make one think about what is underneath it, even more than, say, a bikini. Lust is far too big of a problem to be fed like that, particularly with a beautiful and famous actress like Ashley Olsen. Insinuating nudity doesn’t help either as it can create a longing for the camera to move just a little farther down or up depending on what is being shown. Granted, this isn’t going to be a big deal for most female viewers, since they generally won’t be moved the same way as a male, but I can’t recommend “New York Minute” to any male who might find this a problem, especially teenagers.
Why are people supposed to wear clothes? Answer
On the whole, I can’t really say that I enjoyed the movie, even being a casual fan of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (by way of my girlfriend, who wasn’t thrilled either, though a much bigger fan than I am). As a comedy it did make me laugh a few times, but I spent more time wishing I didn’t have to see things than I did laughing. The acting was all right, and the movie well made (in the technical realm), but the plot was a little too complicated and unrealistic. If you’re a big fan of the Olsens, you’re probably going to watch it regardless of what I think, but otherwise, I’d recommend that you skip it.
Violence: Fairly mild and somewhat comic / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Revealing and thought provoking for guys