NEW YORK MINUTE stars the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, a massive acting
franchise who have literally made something like a billion dollars off of their
direct-to-video movies and all of their associated merchandise. NEW YORK
MINUTE, however, is their first theatrical release since 1995's IT TAKES TWO,
when the now 17-year-old twins were almost a decade younger.
So will their large and rabid fan base of tweens and grown-up tweens (a.k.a.
teenagers) be disappointed? Not for a New York minute. The surprise, however,
is that this good-spirited and enormously cute film will even appeal to
relatively older fogies, from college kids to senior citizens. If you've ever
enjoyed a screwball comedy before and if you go into NEW YORK MINUTE with an
open mind about silly kids' comedies, you'll have a great time.
The story concerns two very different twins. Jane Ryan (Ashley Olsen) is a
type A+ personality whose life is minutely inscribed in color in her day
planner. Wanting to get away from her bad news sister, Roxy (Mary-Ashley
Olsen), Jane is off to make a speech, competing against girls with names like
"Muffy," in order to win a scholarship to Oxford. Jane is a clotheshorse with
a killer closet, but Roxy's kinky wardrobe looks like a stink bomb went off in
Let me get this out of the way first. One of the most asked questions about
the Olsens on the Internet is whether there is a nude scene in their new movie.
Actually, there are several, but all we see in this correctly rated PG movie
is a naked back. In one hilarious dream sequence, the anal retentive Jane
envisions herself speaking naked before a crowd since she forgot to dress.
Jane, you have to understand, is such a persnickety person that she uses two
toilet seat covers when going to the bathroom. And when no covers are
available, well, that proves to be fodder for a humorous moment.
The movie's music choices are terrific. When we first see the twins coming out
of their bedrooms, "War" is played loudly. The best song, however, is sung
intentionally badly by Eugene Levy (A MIGHTY WIND). Levy plays a deadbeat
gumshoe with a job as a truant officer. As this would-be Dirty Harry tracks
down his most prized perp, the ever-absent Roxy, he sings to himself in his
junker of a car, "Bad girl, bad girl, what you gonna do when I come for you?"
This high energy picture used no less than sixty-six stunt people. For what?
Well, the wacky plot concerns a microchip that the girls end up with. Actually
not the girls, but a bizarre looking little dog who swallows it. As they carry
the dog, a doofus bad guy chases them all over New York. (In a
blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moment, the twins pass a street vendor hawking pirated
Mary-Kate and Ashley DVDs. I didn't see if NEW YORK MINUTE was among them.)
The movie's best gag has a senator's son, Trey Lipton (Jared Padalecki),
walking in on the girls in their robes just after their showers. After they
both do a classic slo-mo, sexy hair flip, he looks in disbelief at the gorgeous
blond twins -- who kinda snuck into his hotel room to get cleaned up -- and
exclaims, "Is it my birthday?"
Even if their big message moment falls a little flat, most of the movie sizzles
with unbounded charm. Can the Olsens, like the Energizer bunny, keep on going
when they reach adulthood? Although it might seem impossible, this movie argues
that they probably can.
NEW YORK MINUTE runs 1:26. It is rated PG for "mild sensuality and thematic
elements" and would be acceptable for all ages.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes