New York Minute

4 out of 10


Teen Girl Clone of "Dude, Where's My Car"

Not only starring but also producing the latest showcase for themselves, the latest cinematic vehicle for prolific, supercute Olsen twins is everything you expected, or rather feared. With one as the neurotic establishment would-be achiever, Jane (Ashley Olsen) and the other, the laid back punk rocker slob, Roxanne (Mary-Jane Olsen), the two sisters travel to the Big Apple on the same day for oppostie reasons: Jane is seeking to win a scholarship to Oxford University in England, whilst the other is trying to find A&R people to promote her rock band. As expected, their trip turns into an adventure with Jane pursued by a lame chinese gang of music pirates for the microchip that has fallen accidentally into her possession and Roxy by truant officer Lomax (Eugene Levy).

An architypical plotless teen movie, but from a feminine perspective, it has all the standard features including the dreamy future caring and supportive boyfriends, bike stunts and a seemingly endless supply of Hip Hop music that blasts the audience into submission (the credits list 26 tracks!). That said, if your mind is weak enough to bend it around factors like total lack of credibility and skip over open breach of facts (OXFORD IS NOWHERE NEAR LONDON IN ENGLAND!!!), then maybe you might get at least something out of the copious, clumsy slapstick humour. Usually based on embarrassing one of the Olsens or one of the running gag characters, the cheap laughs flood in to fill what would be a vacuuous talent-free hole if not for the film's three saving factors. Firstly, the Olsens do have some sort of overwhelming "deer-caught-in-the headlights" cutesy charm that makes it impossible to dislike them, no matter how useless they are on screen. Secondly, Levy's pathetic, would-be, crimefighting truant officer is a tour-de-force and it's almost as if he is there to show everyone else what real acting is - ironically, at one point, Jane even replies to a cricism from her sister, "I was just acting in front of the cameras"...she could have fooled us! Finally, the cinematography is just out of this world and could easilty put a Star Wars movie to shame. Indeed, it's almost arguable that the film is worth seeing just from the magnificent use of the camera and the absolutely fabulous work done by some gifted genius in Warner Brothers digital processing backrooms which makes it so watchable, no matter how grindingly slow the "story" itself runs.

A Magnificently Guilded Pig Ear

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett