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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie presents New York City as a place for both connections and disconnections. Although it has a reputation as a cold and forbidding place, Manhattan is portrayed as actually quite warm and embracing -- if you catch it in the right mood. The movie has a complex take on issues like relationships and love.
Positive Role Models
The wide range of characters runs a large gamut of behavior. You'll find "good" girls and "bad" guys (a pickpocket, for one), "good" guys and "bad" girls (a prostitute, for example), and everything in between.
Violence & Scariness
A man jumps out of a window; his body is briefly shown lying bloody on the street below. Another man roughs up a pickpocket. People yell at each other.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A stranger approaches a woman and tells her in fairly graphic detail what he'd do to her if she went home with him. Other scenes show a man and a woman separately reliving their hook-up; there are brief flashes of nudity, but nothing too graphic. Teens have sex in Central Park (no nudity, but the act is clearly suggested -- for example, the girl asks the boy to remove her underwear).
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Some use of words like "s--t," "whore," and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
iPhone logo, Apple laptop.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A fair amount of smoking in some vignettes; social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this collection of shorts about living in New York City -- whose large ensemble cast includes Shia LaBeouf, Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Blake Lively, and many more -- runs the gamut from sweet to seductive to sexually (at least verbally) explicit. It makes for entertaining but unpredictable viewing, especially since many of the vignettes include swearing ("s--t," "f--k," etc.), smoking, and drinking (though not all do). Given the movie's mature themes and complex structure, it will likely appeal more to adults than teens and younger kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
As might be expected from a collection of shorts, New York, I Love You has both highs and lows. Robin Wright Penn's installment goes from heartbreaking to hopeful, while a connective storyline about a filmmaker is inert. The segment featuring Christie (which also stars Shia LaBeouf) is affectingly dreamlike, while one about a composer forced to read a classic is leaden. But there are many moments to enjoy, and the acting is first rate.
Still, because of the movie's structure, the audience can't get too invested in any one storyline -- a legitimate complaint. But what's truly missed is a larger sense of place. Yes, we see Manhattan's taxi cabs, glamorous restaurants, and crowded streets. But the neighborhoods are paint-by-numbers different. In the end, the New York presented here still feels a little bit like a city observed by outsiders instead of those who truly revel in its specific beauty and insanity. And doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a movie like this?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.