NYC to me is a city glorified by films and music. Many directors have romanced this city on celluloid. Quite a few legendary TV series have had the city as a character by itself and not a mere location. New York. It has cinematic magic glued all over it. So when you happen to be in New York when a film called ‘New York, I love you’ releases, you can’t help but be a little excited.
On a pleasant evening, I coaxed my heavily pregnant friend to come see this rendezvous on celluloid. A rendezvous with a city that I have been much fascinated by. Unfortunately, we came out unimpressed. The stories were predictable, random and sometimes, one couldn’t help but wonder if the stories had anything to do with New York in the first place. I mean how is chatting up a woman over a cigarette, a New York phenomenon?
One would expect to see the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty or Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge weaved into the stories beyond being mere locations or part of some random montage. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the montage, you’d never realise this film was about New York, leave alone be a tribute to the city. Or how is a squabbling old couple walking down a street innately New York like? Distanced couples rediscover each other all over the world and the musician who has to read Dostovesky could have been in Moscow for all I care? Where is New York in these stories?
I feel no New York love in this one, I don’t see anything remotely fascinating or remotely ‘New Yorkish’ about these films made by a bunch of noted filmmakers and written by some very awesome people. I loved Paris Je T’aime. I loved how the soul, the identity of Paris was weaved into each segment with much love. That love, that soul is simply missing in this one.
Btw, my sandals broke and I had to walk home barefoot! Couldn’t help but think about Neil Simon’s play, ‘Barefoot In The Park’. Had he written something for this ‘tribute’, I am sure he’d have created a fiery little story that would do justice to the madness that is New York City. Dad, I am sure you’ll agree!