New York, I Love You

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
New York, I Love You Movie Poster Image
Sometimes-edgy shorts collection captures Big Apple’s verve.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

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).

Language

Some use of words like “s--t,” “whore,” and “f--k.”

Consumerism

iPhone logo, Apple laptop.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A fair amount of smoking in some vignettes; social drinking.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 16 year old Written byzaidsm October 25, 2009
i love you so much
Teen, 16 years old Written byYanniBoo April 25, 2010
I feel this film was okay. But does give a positive outlook on finding love in The City

What's the story?

A once-famous singer (Julie Christie) revisits an old haunt, intent on ending her life. A man (Irrfan Khan) and a woman (Natalie Portman) from wildly different cultures flirt over a jewelry transaction, keenly aware that they can't be together. A pickpocket (Hayden Christensen) gets more than he bargains for when a typical lift turns oddly romantic. Two near-strangers (Bradley Cooper and Drea de Matteo) contemplate their one-night stand, and two teenagers (Olivia Thirlby and Anton Yelchin) embark on a most unusual date. These are just some of the adventures that unfold in NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, a collection of shorts written and directed by an ensemble of artists and set in a resplendent New York. (It's actually the second in a series of vignette-based films about cities -- Paris, Je T'aime was first.)

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?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the film is trying to say about New York. Are the vignettes' take on the city surprising? Interesting?

  • The characters connect on many different levels, but do any of them seem realistic and/or believable?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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