New York, I Love You, created and produced by Emmanuel Banbihy, is a collection of short films from various directors, based around the central theme of love in The Big Apple. The shorts vary in style, but also quality. Some are funny, some sad; some are good, some bad.
The best films are those that take an irreverent approach to depicting love. Shunji Iwai directs an enjoyable mini-rom-com, with Orlando Bloom and Christina Ricci. Brett Ratner directs another somewhat more biting but equally light piece, starring Anton Yelchin and Olivia Thirlby.
Mira Nair directs a film portraying the relationship between two diamond dealers, a Jaim man (Irrfan Khan) and Jewish woman (Natalie Portman), which is interesting for its multicultural take on New York and its community of people that is as multifaceted as diamonds.
One memorable film, directed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Shia LaBeouf, is out of place among the others in the film. It’s difficult to know whether to applaud Kapur for attempting to do something interesting with the short film format, or criticize him for making a film nobody will understand.
It’s difficult to make something like this work as a whole – each film is so distinct, the themes so diverse, and the styles so different – and New York is edited together with snapshots and segues that are meant to make the film more cohesive. The overall effect, though, is somewhat contrived. Rather than attempting to bring these films together, it might have been better to let each film stand alone.
The special features include the Scarlett Johansson directed short, These Vagabond Shoes, that was cut from the theatrical release, as well as another film Apocrypha, directed by Andrey Zytagintsev.