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New York Minute (2004)

Directed by:

Dennie Gordon

Rating: 2/10

Running Time: 91 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG

No, you’re not seeing double – twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen really are BOTH that bad at acting. You might think that their now-considerable years of performing experience (they made their debuts as toddlers on US small-screen show ‘Full House’ way back in 1987), along with the fact that there’s TWO of them, might substantially improve the chances of at least one of them possessing some modicum of talent. But no, the pair of just-turned-18-year-olds are as identical in their crippling dearth of thesping ability as they are in their creepily over-sexualised good looks. Seriously, if one of them had pulled out sick, you could have made this entire movie with cleverly positioned mirrors and nobody would have been any the wiser.

The horrendously over-made-up siblings (you get the feeling the pair of them could quite comfortably keep the entire mascara industry in business) play schoolgirls Jane (that’s Ashley) and Roxy (Mary-Kate). Jane’s the clever-clogs of the pair (we know that because she briefly wears glasses – though not long enough to ruin her looks, obviously) and Ashley’s the wild one (nothing screams “out of control” like a Metallica t-shirt, after all).

One day, both just happen to be going to New York – Jane to read out some swotty speech or other, and Ashley to attend the video-shoot of generic US rock band Simple Plan. So, pursued by bungling truancy officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy), they set about making their way to the Big Apple. Oh, you can almost taste the fun and frolics they’re going to get up to in that big city together, can’t you? No. You can’t.

‘New York Minute’ doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that it’s a shameless career vehicle for the Olsens. The real problem is, it’s not just a vehicle – it’s a car crash. Witless, spiritless and devoid of even the slightest level of entertainment value, it’s without a doubt one of the worst movies of the year (spare a thought for director Dennie Gordon who, with ‘What a Girl Wants’, was also responsible for one of the biggest crap-fests of LAST year).

The plot is basically a very bad rip-off of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but lands as far from the humour, spark and eternal popularity of that movie as you could possibly get. Even Levy, who can be such great fun to watch when he picks the right role (as Jim’s Dad in American Pie or a washed-out folk singer in A Mighty Wind, for example), is nothing but an irritant here, grumping and twitching his way through line after line of woeful dialogue.

The only positive to come from it all is the over-whelming feeling that the Olsen phenomenon has already run its course. They’ve done the TV shows, they’ve released the plethora of straight-to-video kid flicks, and now they’ve topped it all off with a major(ish) big screen release. It’s an impressive CV for a couple of 18-year-olds, but surely it can only be downhill from here? Can’t it? Please?

It's Got: An inexplicable sub-plot involving a dog, a microchip, and a bloke who thinks he’s Chinese.

It Needs: To have been given the same straight-to-video treatment as the rest of the Olsen’s flicks.


Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, What A Girl Wants


A ‘New York Minute’ supposedly means a very short period of time, but don’t let the title fool you – this skull-crushingly bad film is at least 90 minutes too long.

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