Main cast: Ashley Olsen (Jane Ryan), Mary-Kate Olsen (Roxy Ryan), Eugene Levy (Max Lomax), Andy Richter (Bennie Bang), Riley Smith (Jim), Jared Padalecki (Trey Lipton), Andrea Martin (Senator Anne Lipton), and Alannah Ong (Ma Bang)
Director: Dennie Gordon
New York Minute is a confused Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen vehicle that doesn’t know what it wants to give the audience. On one hand this movie is as tame as a Disney TV movie. On the other hand, this movie also tries to show the Olsen twins in a more grown-up and even sexualized light. This schizophrenia arises from the movie simultaneously trying to attract preteen fans as well as older adults who make it their life mission to count down to the nanosecond the time and day when they can finally, hopefully, make out with the ladies without being slapped with a statutory rape charge. The result is a confused mess of a movie that won’t hold much appeal to the average moviegoer.
Jane and Roxy Ryan are sixteen-year old girls who can’t be any more different. Jane is the studious and responsible one who wants to go to Manhattan to deliver a speech that will hopefully win her a scholarship to Oxford University. I have my doubts about Jane’s chances, especially when she tells Roxy that the University is in London, but oh well. Roxy, on the other hand, is the cooler one who skips school to attend a Simple Plan video shoot in New York and hopefully slip her band’s demo CD to some studio suits who may be interested. The trip to New York won’t be smooth as the sisters, by being at the wrong place and the wrong time, end up running from a villainous “assassin” Bennie Bang who wants a chip that somehow ends up with Roxy. Also hot on the ladies’ trail is Max Lomax, a truant officer who treats his cases as if he’s a real cop and life is a Les Miserables musical where his name is Javert. In between running down the streets, climbing into the sewers, and vamping it up in the House of Bling-Bling, they also manage to find sexually non-threatening clean-cut boys to fall in love with – Jane gets Jim, a bike messenger boy, and Roxy gets Trey, a Senator’s son who looks just like Dean of Gilmore Girls. You can’t get more sexually non-threatening, clean-cut, and bland than Dean, surely.
Among the tame Disney-esque chase antics and the obligatory “sisters break up and later make up again” antics, the movie also has the Olsen sisters clad only in bathrobe and towel for the most part of the movie. That or the sisters are wearing tight “I Love New York” T-shirts and getting leered at by Bob Saget, a creepy scene given that Mr Saget is their characters’ father in Full House. Talk about a movie that tries to keep both Daddy and the kiddies happy. But as long as the money is rolling in, I’m sure the Olsen sisters won’t mind that their main audience for this movie may be renting it from Blockbusters for all the wrong skeevy reasons.
On the whole, this movie is too predictable and too ineptly paced to be truly entertaining even in a campy way. The action scenes are badly choreographed and Eugene Levy isn’t even allowed to be funny. Everyone on this movie looks lost and dazed, as if they are aware that they will spend the rest of their lives trying to justify their involvement in this movie to horrified friends and family members. Then again, how can one take seriously a movie that calls Simple Plan a hardcore punk band?
It can’t be easy having to grow up before an audience, but playing essentially the same roles as they did in all their previous movies, only this time sexier in a PG-rated context, won’t help Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen win any credibility or many new fans outside the preteen and pervert circles. Unless they don’t really care about those things, that is, and they make this movie only to get a few more extra dollars in their pocket money. Either way, the two ladies still have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to their career.