New York Minute (2004) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Eugene Levy, Andy Richter, Riley Smith

Director: Dennie Gordon

Take two blonde teenage bombshells, two smitten guys and a persistent policeman/truancy officer and NEW YORK MINUTE turns into a race against the clock. Why? Well, overachiever twin Jane (Ashley Olsen) is psyched up about the speech she has to deliver in NYC that afternoon to compete for an overseas scholarship and her well ordered day descends into increasing mayhem thanks to her rebel twin sister Roxy (Mary-Kate Olsen), a complete opposite who has a bloodhound of a truancy officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy) snapping at her heels for school evasion as he follows her (and Jane) to NYC where she is trying to gatecrash an underground band’s (Simple Plan) video shoot to distribute her band’s demo CD.

Roxy with her head on, kick ass attitude seems to have a knack for attracting trouble and after getting them both thrown off the train (no tickets and no money) into NYC she unwittingly instigates a series of untimely misfortunes that act like an unstoppable domino effect. Add to this the sparks that fly as the twins constantly clash with each other, never agreeing and almost total strangers to the other’s everyday life and likes, and you have a very amusing movie. The plot maybe lightweight and the outcome predictable but with extra helpings of wit from the talented Eugene Levy (AMERICAN PIE trilogy) and Darrell Hammond (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE TV series), love interests for the twins in the shape of a senator’s son Trey (Jared Padalecki) and bike messenger Jim (Riley Smith), who get swept up in the twins chase across NYC, plus a Chinese music piracy scam in the form of sinister chauffeur Bennie Bang (Andy Richter) – there’s plenty going on.

For its kids/teenage target audience NEW YORK MINUTE is thoroughly entertaining and is directly competing with the Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan type movies. The Olsen twins theatrical feature film debut is definitely as appealing and watchable as their competitors’ movies. Director Dennie Gordon skilfully keeps the pace and momentum going, and the action is equally matched by the dynamic soundtrack accompanying the movie which includes Canadian punk pop band Simple Plan who also make their film debut.

4 out of 6 stars