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New York Minute
2004 - PG - 86 Mins.
Director: Dennie Gordon
Producer: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Written By: Emily Fox and Adam Cooper
Starring: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Eugene Levy, Andy Richter, Darrell Hammond, Riley Smith
Review by: Joe Rickey

Now, which Olsen twin are you again?
Viewing ‘New York Minute’, the new film directed by Dennie Gordon and starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, one gets the sense that the filmmakers set out with no loftier expectations than to produce a breezy teen comedy. Thankfully, they succeeded with flying colors since the film is admittedly a lot of fun in a rather unassuming way; telling the story of sisters (The Olsen twins, not playing twins though) who are on the run from their truancy officer (Eugene Levy) in the heart of New York, getting mixed up in various subplots including a romance, among other more serious charges.

Director Gordon fashions the film as a sort of screwball comedy for teens and younger, showcasing the twin duo either together or, rarely, apart (They only appear apart for a few scant scenes altogether). The film is able to garner laughs from the pratfall sort of humor common to comedy films these days, surprisingly; more of such scenes work than they had any right to. Smartly, the film includes some more dialogue-driven humor as well; most of it involving Eugene Levy; who once again is superb; wringing humor from most every situation. The film also succeeds because it contains a plot that moves at a fast clip; its 86-minute running time seeming to go by in a flash. Gordon, who previously directed the similar in tone ‘What a Girl Wants’, along with the gross-out comedy ‘Joe Dirt’, is right in her element with this film and it shows in the way the film is breezy and contemporary in almost every way. Sure, there are a few attempts at humor that do not hit their mark, and they come across instead as rather lame. The film medicates the situation though by the aforementioned quick pace that doesn’t give one much chance to think of how some scenes don’t work.

In the lead roles, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, appearing in their first theatrical release since ‘It Takes Two’ back in November of 1995, have aged gracefully, to say the least, and their acting talent has grown; though not nearly as much as their bank account (Together they’re worth an estimated $250 million, $500 million by 2007). They project an affable likeability and charm along with a solid sense of comic timing; honed perhaps through the countless direct-to-video films they’ve done over the years after starting out on the TV sitcom ‘Full House’ as just tiny tots. They just may have a career in theatrical films, but they will eventually have to appear each in their own films to have a career of longevity beyond their twenties.

In supporting roles, along with the aforementioned Eugene Levy, Andy Richter appears as a limousine driver with a not so nice plan for the girls, and Darrell Hammond as a smarmy business executive who comes across the girls numerous times during their journey. Richter provides his signature sense of dry-witted humor with aplomb, and Hammond is also effective in adding some humorous situations to the film.

Make no mistake about it; ‘New York Minute’ is the Olsen twins’ first real attempt at establishing acting careers going into adulthood. A plus for them is that the film is a successful comedy that shows off their talent and will likely be fairly successful at the box office as well.

Movie Guru Rating
Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental.
  3.5 out of 5 stars

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