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New York Minute
Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Eugene Levy, Andy Richter, Riley Smith, Jared Padalecki
by Darisa Diaz
Oh, my, where to begin? New York Minute is the theatrical debut of
the straight-to-DVD Mary-Kate & Ashley enterprise. Like every Mary-Kate
& Ashley flick, it stars two sisters whose personalities are diametrically
opposed. Like every Mary-Kate & Ashley flick, the sisters are only close
genetically until the end of the film when they get it together and thereís
a big hug when everythingís alright again. Oh, and before I forget, the
girls always land a pair of cute boyfriends.
But, that's the problem here. New York Minute is that: itís
just like every other Mary-Kate & Ashley flick.
M.K. is 17-year-old Roxanne ďRoxyĒ Ryan, a drummer wannabe with
a punk rock attitude towards life. She dresses like a grunge rock reject and
ranks #1 on Nassau County truancy officer Max Lomaxís (Eugene Levy) hit
list. Ashley is the incredibly anal, plain Jane. Really, her name is Jane. She
uses disposable toilet seat covers in her private bathroom. Her life is carefully
programmed in her day planner. She owns a George Bush bobble head toy. Itís
one Long Island rock reject versus one Long Island pastel princess.
Despite the fact that theyíve ignored each other since their motherís
death, Roxy and Ashley are thrown together on a day trip to New York City. Roxyís
skipping school to crash a Simple Plan concert and drop her demo to an A&R;
rep. Ashleyís on her way to Columbia University to give a speech, win
the Callahan Fellowship scholarship to Oxford University and get as far away
from Roxy as possible. The day trip of course delights in throwing them together.
Everythingís running smoothly until Roxy realizes Lomax is on her tail.
Thatís when things start to go haywire. The girls become involved in a
Chinese piracy ring after unwittingly kidnapping an important computer chip
from bad Benny, played by Andy Richter faking a bad Chinese accent. Donít
ask. Doggie drama arises when a senatorís pooch eats the computer chip
and tags along for the ride. The Chinese jokes are exaggerated and walk a fine
line between joke and outright stereotype. Unfortunately, this isnít the
only joke walking a tightrope.
It doesnít help that when Roxy and Jane finally find their way to Harlem,
a stoneís throw away from Columbia University, they end up at the House
of Bling. Most of the audience that actually laughed at this joke responded
with uncomfortable guffaws. The whole scene is dominated by stereotypes that
help along a wardrobe transition for the twins. Itís amazingly fortunate
that the House of Bling folks take pity on the twins and offer to lend them
clothing, style and a taxi cab.
Mary-Kate and Ashley films are rarely based in reality, but New York Minute
is really out there. Itís so ďout thereĒ that it loses its
audience from the get-go. The first fifteen minutes of the film stagnant quickly.
Eugene Levy fails to garner the expected laughs. It is a stuffy Darrell Hammond
doing his famed Al Gore shtick that comes to the rescue with the running gag.
Unfortauntely, this running gag is forced to save the film too many times.
The guys in the film are as different as Jane and Roxy themselves. Riley Smith
is Jim, a bicycle messenger dude. There isnít too much going on upstairs
in Jimís big head. Gilmore Girlís Jared Paladecki is much
more desirable as the senatorís wide-eyed son. If Jane and Roxy are nothing
more than cookie cutter caricatures, you can imagine how deep their boyfriends
Sadly, despite some great New York City footage, funny chase scenes in towels
and some hilarious scenes in a convenience store, New York Minute is
a surprisingly unoriginal big-screen debut. It doesnít have the gumption
and the spirit of Ferris
Bueller and Legally
Blonde or any of the films it steals from to keep afloat. For that
matter, it falls short of topping the list of the best Mary Kate & Ashley
films on DVD. New York Minute is only intermittingly interesting or
My advice? The Olsens should stick to DVD until they can try their hand at
some acting classes in college. The teary scenes do nothing but highlight the
twinsí inability to convincingly portray a wide variety of emotions on-screen.
Their timely big-screen debut of New York Minute only makes it obvious that
this big move was perhaps premature.