New York Minute

While the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle), have already conquered many forms of media including video, New York Minute, their official film debut as headliners, will probably not rise quickly to the top of the charts. However, Hollywood is a strange place where being on top does not mean being the best, and the public as a whole isn't known for its intelligence, so who is to say? Either way, this is just another outlet for this huge multimedia conglomerate to conquer. It is aimed squarely at the tweener audience by providing a pretty wholesome, escapist fantasy, and will probably also bring in some of the raincoat brigade who eagerly count the days until the twins' eighteenth birthday. As a whole, New York Minute is pretty bland, and should have been just another one of their video movies. It's just about as good as the rest of the junk out there, which means it's not that great at all. It should be commended for not having its two stars somehow go to Europe and fall in love, but hey, that could be a sequel.

Seventeen-year-old twins Jane and Roxy are polar opposites. Roxy (Mary-Kate) is wild, uninhibited, and free. She doesn't care a whit for school, is in a band, and like loud music and having fun. Her sister Jane (Ashley) is prim and proper. She does well in school, has her room arranged perfectly, and dresses to a tee. She is also preparing to give a very important speech in New York that will help her plot a course for her successful future. Roxy tags along because A Simple Plan is having a video shoot there, and everything goes wrong from there. New York Minute is basically their little escapades in the Big Apple, almost episodic in nature. The two sisters are not close anymore, and their shenanigans give them the opportunity to rediscover that they love each other.

Moreover, Roxy needs to learn some responsibility and Jane needs to loosen up a little. Everything seems to go wrong for Jane, who is stymied at every turn in her attempts to get to her speech. Truant officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy, American Wedding, Dumb and Dumberer) is hot on the trail of Roxy, and Bennie Bang (Andy Richter, Elf, My Boss's Daughter), a white guy with a really offensive Chinese accent, is a chip that is currently in the stomach of a dog that Jane is looking after. Each girl gets to meet a hot guy, Jim (Riley Smith, Radio, Eight Legged Freaks), a cute bike messenger for Jane, and Trey (Jared Padalecki, Cheaper by the Dozen, A Little Inside), a hunky Senator's son, for Roxy. Or was it the other way around? In the end, it doesn't really make a difference.

New York Minute should appeal to Olsen twin fans because it is fairly innocuous. They run around giggling and bonding. They outsmart the bad guys, and get the cute guys. They get to try on lots of clothes and dance at a concert. What this doesn’t prove is if either twin can act. Director Dennie Gordon (What a Girl Wants, Joe Dirt) doesn't look like he really cares at all. This movie is basically on autopilot. Screenwriters Emily Fox and Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (For What It's Worth) add a pat moral at the end to make the movie somewhat redeemable. The script is so superfluous that it almost isn't there. The humor typically borders on the slapstick, and the movie is just short enough to be bearable. And on a deeper level, New York Minute is kind of disturbing. Why is it that at almost every opportunity, one of the twins loses her clothes? Why are their shirts always getting doused with water?

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 26 minutes, Rated PG for mild sensuality and thematic elements.

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