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Review: New York Minute

It’s depressing that New York Minute’s ideology is being pitched toward impressionable youth.

Keith Uhlich



New York Minute
Photo: Warner Bros.

Dennie Gordon’s New York Minute is a feature-length Stuff magazine cover starring the barely legal Olsen twins as sparring sisters set loose on a lowbrow, farcical journey through New York City (often doubled, unconvincingly, by Toronto). The young ladies find themselves caught up in a festering carcass of a plot better left to the vultures who’ll blindly patronize this monstrosity. Instead, let’s focus on the film’s reductive mindset, which posits a world where two privileged white girls are hunted by software-pirating Asians, criticized by convenience store-running Arabs, primped and pampered by sassy hairdressing African-Americans, and ogled by a near-pedophilic truant officer (Eugene Levy), all in the aid of achieving their scholarly and monetary American dreams. It plays like a faux Dr. Seuss poem featuring the Hilton sisters and composed in secret by illegal substance-fueled dirty minds. call it “Every Race Has Their Place.” It’s depressing that New York Minute’s ideology is being pitched toward impressionable youth, though not at all surprising when one considers the isolationist and abstinence-driven culture from which it spawned. Revelatory of our collective ignorance and fear of “otherness,” New York Minute is as dishonest about sex as it is about race. Recalling the old Buster Keaton gag where a hand covers the camera lens as a woman steps out of the bathtub (though minus Keaton’s profound satirical import), New York Minute continually places the Olsen sisters in skimpy outfits and easily removed towels, always framing their holiest of holies (both upstairs and down) off screen in a cruel tsk-tsk fashion that reeks of misguided puritanism. This is the Stuff that back-alley abortions are made of, an evasion of complex truth through the teasing of objectified lies, all in the name of an ill-advised, peculiarly American morality.

Cast: Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Andy Richter, Jared Padalecki, Riley Smith, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy Director: Dennie Gordon Screenwriter: Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, Emily Fox Distributor: Warner Bros. Running Time: 91 min Rating: PG Year: 2004 Buy: Video, Soundtrack

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