Two women embark on a road trip after they are brought together by circumstance. Rebecca (Portman) flees her hotel after a fight with her mother-in-law (Maura) and hails a taxi driven by Hanna (Lazlo).
Ten vignettes in New York City: a pickpocket meets his match; a young Hasidic woman, on the eve of her marriage, reveals herself to an Indian businessman; a writer tries a pick-up line; an artist seeks a model; a composer needs to read; two women connect; a man takes a child to Central Park; lovers meet; a couple takes a walk on their anniversary; a kid goes to the prom with a girl in a wheelchair; a retired singer contemplates suicide. There are eight million stories in the naked city: these have been ten of them. Written by
Two short films, Apocrypha (2009) directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, and These Vagabond Shoes (2009) directed by Scarlett Johansson were shot for inclusion in New York, I Love You, but were left out of the finished film. Both shorts are available as bonus extras in the DVD of New York, I Love You. See more »
Natalie Portman's character, while discussing the rules of kosher, states she cannot eat "nothing that's not blessed by a rabbi." This is a common error - the production of kosher food is overseen by a rabbi, but the final products are not blessed. See more »
Hey, David, it's Camille. You know, when Dostoevsky was writing The Gambler, he signed a contract with his publisher saying that he would finish it in twenty-six days, and he did it, but he had the help of this young stenographer. This girl, she... she stayed with him and she helped him. And... afterwards they actually got married. Ha, isn't that cool? That's how he met his wife. Anyway I found this story in the preface for Crime and Punishment so I was thinking that... and, this would have to ...
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With all the talent involved in this project, I find it hard to not say that this film ends up mostly feeling like a waste of good talent. It's a collection of sometimes intersecting stories, all created by different directors and writers. Overall it feels disjointed and I suppose it obviously should, but even the New York theme itself does not really come across very well through most of the stories; On more than one occasion I felt it seemed as if the dialogue was overly forced into making the stories relate better to the New York setting.
The Brett Ratner directed segment was pretty funny, and a few of the other stories had some good moments as well.
I'm a pretty strict rater, I do think that all the films I rate a 4 out of 10 are worthy of one viewing; So this film fits into that category. My advice is to just not have your hopes too high going into it, and you will enjoy at least some of it.
To me the most interesting segment was surprisingly enough the Natalie Portman written and directed portion. She also acts in another segment in which she did not write and direct. The part she did write and direct I found to be the easiest segment to enjoy, as there was layered depth within her story, even given the short amount of time she had to work with. Her part of the story I would even venture to say seemed the most mature, and at least equally as thought provoking as any of the other segments. This leaves me in great anticipation of her future projects, as Natalie has only just begun to enter into the writer/directorial aspect of film-making. Her next directorial project 'A Tale of Love and Darkness' is well on my radar now, and it is also certainly a huge issue(Israeli/Palestinian State) she plans to take on in her first real feature debut as a director. You have to at least admire her ambition, even if the project doesn't turn out so good. That's the one very encouraging thought I took away from 'New York, I Love You'; That Portman shows real promise in perhaps actually one day becoming a truly great writer/director. I don't use those words lightly either, I realize fully that truly great writer/directors are extremely rare, but she has certainly given us a strong hint of her potential here. I hope and believe that perhaps this is just an early sign of great things to come.
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