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New York, I Love You (DVD Review)

2 Feb, 2010 By: Angelique Flores

Street 2/2/10
Box Office $1.6 million, $24.93 DVD, $27.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for language and sexual content.
Stars Shia LaBeouf, Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Blake Lively, Orlando Bloom, Robin Wright Penn, Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Christina Ricci, Ethan Hawke, James Caan, Justin Bartha, Chris Cooper, Andy Garcia, Julie Christie, Cloris Leachman, John Hurt, Maggie Q.

Billed as an anthology of love stories, New York, I Love You cohesively brings together a series of vignettes that address the various forms of love with a Manhattan flavor.

This film is the latest installment of the “Cities of Love” series, launched in 2006 with the acclaimed Paris, Je T’Aime.

The movie is made up of several stories with different characters written and directed by filmmakers from around the world, including Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Fatih Akin, Wen Jiang, Allen Hughes and Natalie Portman.

There’s an all-star ensemble cast to match, and with this variety of talent and stories, the film is rich with emotion, endearing and touching, and even sexy and funny. It portrays many facets of love from forbidden crushes to one-night stands. Some stories go deep and feel complete with a beginning, middle and end. Others just leave you hanging or are nothing more than a fleeting exchange between two people.

My favorite vignette is director Joshua Marston’s piece, with Cloris Leachman and Eli Walach as an octogenarian couple walking around Coney Island and bickering in a hilarious and yet sweet way. It’s a less conventional look at love and romance, but for me it spoke volumes about real love.

The bonus materials include two deleted vignettes, one written and directed by Scarlett Johansson and another by Andrey Zvyaginstev, and director interviews from Ratner, Marston, Nair, Yvan Attal and Shunki Iwai, who each speak about their part in the film.

The series of films, conceived by Emmanuel Benhiby and Tristan Carné, next visits Shanghai, Jerusalem and Rio for more love stories. If they’re anything like the first two, I’m looking forward to seeing them.

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