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The day WWII ends, Jimmy, a selfish and smooth-talking musician, meets Francine, a lounge singer. From that moment on, their relationship grows into love as they struggle with their careers and aim for the top. Written by
Steve Richer <email@example.com>
During the VJ dance sequence when Jimmy (DeNiro) is initially trying to pick up Francine (Minnelli), the cherry in her drink disappears (when she eats it in one shot) but then reappears in her drink only to disappear in subsequent shots. See more »
Let me ask you something. You got any other advice for me?
Yes. Stay off the junk, and you'll go far.
Fine. Thanks a lot. Swell of you to say that.
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Martin Scorsese's deconstruction of the golden Hollywood musical is a meandering disaster.
"New York, New York" is damn near unwatchable. It tells the VERY slight story of a jackass saxophone player (Robert De Niro) who falls in love with a nightclub singer (Liza Minelli) and proceeds to emotionally abuse her until her life is miserable. De Niro is consistently one note in his performance, creating a character without a single redeeming feature. In his early scenes, I think we're supposed to be charmed by him, and by extension understand why Minelli's character would fall for him in the first place -- unfortunately, he comes across more as a creepy sociopath than anything, Travis Bickle with some musical talent. Minelli's role is utterly thankless, but she's absolutely the only thing that kept me watching. The last 40 minutes of the film is practically a Liza Minelli concert. Her character has vaulted to film stardom and left her loser husband in the dust; Scorsese devotes what feels like half an hour to a movie within a movie featuring Minelli in one of those epic ballet scenes that always derailed Gene Kelly musicals. It does the same to this film, but the diversion was welcome, since it meant we could enjoy a nice break from De Niro.
The movie grinds on for 163(!) minutes. At the 120 minute mark I wanted to cry. At the 150 minute mark I was beaten into submission by indifference. By that point, the film had been going on for far too long, yet at the same time I couldn't believe it would be ending in 10 minutes because it didn't seem to be moving toward any kind of resolution.
Scorsese seemed to be unaware that this story had already been told -- maybe he'd never heard of "A Star Is Born." More likely, he was paying homage to that film, but he created something that on its own terms has no reason for existence.
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