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Old October 1st, 2009, 06:32 PM
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NY, ILY Reviews

Is it alright to start one for this? I read a Variety yesterday and this one today.

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New York, I Love You
1 October, 2009 | By Tim Grierson

Dirs: Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Shekhar Kapur, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston, Randy Balsmeyer. US. 2009. 104 mins.

The second film in the “Cities Of Love” series which began with Paris je t’aime, New York, I Love You isn’t as consistently beguiling as its predecessor, but the novelty of the omnibus concept allows filmmakers of very different stripes to explore their distinctive visions of modern courtship. Predictably, not all of these 11 short films fully connect, but after a few early duds, New York’s stronger sequences present themselves, making this an affair to remember if not quite cherish.

Opening domestically October 16, New York, I Love You should charm the same upscale audiences who enjoyed Paris Je T’Aime ($17.3m worldwide). In terms of star wattage, New York boasts a higher-profile cast than Paris – including Shia LaBeouf, Bradley Cooper, Orlando Bloom and Hayden Christensen – but this small-scale release with an unconventional narrative structure probably won’t transcend the art-house market.

New York, I Love You traces the seemingly unrelated stories of people living in the Big Apple, many of whom are struggling with issues of love and relationships. Characters include a retired opera singer (Julie Christie), an elderly married couple (Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman), an aspiring film composer (Bloom) and a smooth-talking author (Ethan Hawke).

The “Cities Of Love” series plans to continue creating anthology films inspired by and located in major world cities – the next film will be based in Shanghai – and while New York, I Love You demonstrates the durability of the concept, this romantic comedy-drama lacks some of the freshness and inspiration that made Paris je t’aime such a lark.

Perhaps not wanting a repeat of Paris, the producers have been more ambitious with New York, doing away with the director title cards between each segment and thereby creating more of a coherent through-line between the different shorts. Sometimes characters from one short bump into those from another, enhancing the impression that these disconnected individuals are subliminally linked because of the city they inhabit and their shared romantic preoccupations. Still, though, New York, I Love You’s doesn’t have the cumulative comedic and dramatic power of Parisje t’aime’s nimbler films.

One of New York, I Love You’s considerable pleasures comes from watching accomplished feature directors work in a more concise storytelling format. Of course, the downside can be that these eight-minute shorts end up being too slight or self-indulgent, but after Jiang Wen’s awkward pickpocket romance (starring a wooden Christensen) and Mira Nair’s drab cross-cultural drama (featuring Portman), New York, I Love You finds its footing with several shorts that examine love from unique angles.

Among the highlights, Allen Hughes (one half of the Hughes brothers) sensually captures the excitement and worry that linger after a passionate one-night stand, while Portman impresses behind the camera directing a poignant short about divorced parents and the children trapped in the middle.

But Shekhar Kapur, working from a script by the late Anthony Minghella, delivers the most memorable segment with a ghostly meditation on aging and regret highlighted by Christie’s melancholy performance. Interestingly, it’s one of two shorts to focus on issues of mortality. In the other, Joshua Marston affectionately observes Wallach and Leachman’s long-bickering elderly couple, which ends the movie on a note of delicate grace, accentuating New York, I Love You’s overall theme of love’s maddening, mysterious impermanence.
from screendaily.com

this is the Variety one, they were not impressed

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New York, I Love You

The "Cities of Love" franchise begun with "Paris, je t'aime" discards originality for uniformity in its disappointing second installment, "New York, I Love You." Ten helmers were given a formula for shooting a Gotham-based love story: Lensing had to last no more than two days and editing just one week, connected by transitions shot by one more director. The results are, well, formulaic, hobbled by weak dialogue and absent any sense of texture. The city itself comes off characterless and blandly gentrified, making the Oct. 16 Vivendi Entertainment release unlikely to catch on with targeted romantic arthouse sophisticates.


Whether it can appeal to the multiplex set will depend entirely on marketers pulling in crowds who don't see much difference between Las Vegas' "New York New York" and the real thing. In particular, Gothamites will wonder what happened to their city, devoid of grit, and where blacks are mere extras and Hispanics apparently nonexistent. Producer Emmanuel Benbihy (who also produced "Paris, je t'aime" and is credited with the feature-film concept here) presumably favored quick turnarounds because they're cheaper and foster an off-the-cuff urgency, but the talented directors assembled here seem to have felt uninspired or apathetic.

Segments last around eight minutes each, and none are titled, in keeping with Benbihy's stated goal of avoiding the sense of a collection of shorts. Despite the push for giving it all a feature feel (Scarlett Johansson's directorial debut, shot in black-and-white, was cut because it didn't conform to the overall look), there's no getting around the fact that this is indeed a collection of shorts, which in itself wouldn't be a bad thing if the components were more incisive.

Some segments do hold up nicely: Mira Nair's entry stars Natalie Portman as a Chassidic woman in the Diamond District whose strictly business relationship with a Jain gem merchant (Irrfan Khan) takes a surprising turn. While several of the films deal with cross-cultural meetings and clashes, Nair avoids the expected and invests her entry with real emotional tenderness.

Completely different, and working well because of it, is Brett Ratner's segment about a high schooler (Anton Yelchin) suckered by a pharmacist (James Caan) into taking his wheelchair-bound daughter (Olivia Thirlby) to the prom. Again, expectation is upended, and there's a piquant sense of humor to the piece, though the voiceover is unnecessary.

Unanticipated relationships similarly inform the episodes directed by Jiang Wen and Yvan Attal, but they lack the tight punchiness needed for such quick work. In Jiang's piece, thief Hayden Christensen pickpockets Andy Garcia, only to fall for Garcia's mistress (Rachel Bilson). Attal's entry consists of two encounters, one involving fast-talker Ethan Hawke trying to pick up a coolly amused Maggie Q (one of the few thesps to make an impression), the other featuring an intense come-on between Chris Cooper and Robin Wright Penn.

Orlando Bloom is a musician on a tight deadline in Shunji Iwai's segment, an OK entry made pleasant by the enticingly sweet voice of Christina Ricci as the largely unseen woman encouraging him on the phone. Darkest of the shorts is Allen Hughes' entry, starring Drea De Matteo as a woman trying to understand why she had a one-night stand with a younger guy (Bradley Cooper), and why she wants to see him again. De Matteo rises above the material, though the flashback sex scene feels gratuitous rather than urgent.

Portman directs a wispy short about a little girl (Taylor Geare) whose male nanny (Carlos Acosta) is uncomfortable being seen as merely a child-care provider. More substantial is Fatih Akin's piece, starring Turkish thesp Ugur Yucel as an artist obsessed with a woman (Shu Qi, so it's understandable) in Chinatown. Though the segment works, it feels cut out from something bigger, and as with all the other shorts, even Akin's corner of Gotham has no extratextual role.

Oddest of all is the short helmed by Shekhar Kapur, who took over for the late Anthony Minghella (who scripted the episode, and to whom the entire pic is dedicated). Julie Christie plays an opera singer who checks into an elegant hotel (shot as if it's somewhere in heaven) to kill herself. She's intrigued by a handicapped bellboy (Shia LaBeouf, his accent slipping into unknown regions) who magically becomes associated with John Hurt. Meant to convey feelings of wistfulness and yearning, the piece merely feels ill thought-out, despite Christie's best efforts.

The sole short not set in Manhattan belongs to Joshua Marston, who sets Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman on Coney Island; their standard old-couple shtick is redeemed by the sheer pleasure of watching these two pros radiate more personality than the dialogue provides.

It's too much to expect the kind of New Yorkese wit spouted by Woody Allen characters in their prime, and Benbihy's decision to hire non-Gotham helmers could have been a bold move, but the compendium's greatest flaw is its overall homogeneous feel. Emilie Ohana, cast as a video artist casually shooting the life around her, is meant to be the connecting feature in the transitional scenes (helmed by Randy Balsmeyer), but she's simply an empty, smiling shell, sweetly observing but never entering into the life of the film.

Perhaps because of the time constraints, tech creds are solid but featureless; lighting is especially uninspired. Music is meant to reflect the Big Apple's multicultural mix, but none of it feels like New York.
from Variety
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Old October 12th, 2009, 09:10 AM
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A review from Atomic Popcorn

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New York, I Love You Review

In 2006, I read about a film that was slightly different from anything I’d heard of before. Top directors such as the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant and Alfonso Cuaron were all making a series of shorts that would be threaded together into a feature. The short films all center around love in Paris. The film was appropriately titled Paris, je t’aime. Needless to say, the city of Poughkeepsie, where I went to school, was never even on the radar for Paris, je t’aime’s theatrical release. When I watched it on DVD, I was more than disappointed. I don’t know if something got lost in translation or if the short films were just lackluster. Three years later, the same concept has moved to a new city. New York, I Love You showcases the talents of top directors (Mira Nair, Allen Hughes and a surprise directorial effort from Natalie Portman). The subject for all the short films is love in the different boroughs of New York City. The filmmakers had two days each to shoot their respective shorts. This time, the results are a bit more rewarding. New York, I Love You is far from perfect but it is mostly enjoyable.

new_york_i_love_you_ver3The different segments of the film all bleed into one another as most are, in some way, related to another. The short films are parts of a whole rather than their own entities. One of the challenges I found most rewarding was figuring out the overlap between stories. The film opens with Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper (of Hangover fame) awkwardly sharing a taxi. Both characters, despite sharing this scene, would be the focus of their own respective narratives. The film is full of moments like this. Drea De Matteo, a woman grappling with the fallout from a one-night stand in Allen Hughes’ segment, appears in Mr. Riccoli’s drugstore (which plays an integral part in Brett Ratner’s short). The overlaps make the entire film fun and engaging.

The shorts themselves are largely hit or miss. For example, Jiang Wen’s segment about a pickpocket (Hayden Christensen) attempting to woo a beautiful young girl (Rachel Bilson) only to be thwarted by her much older and strangely sinister boyfriend (Andy Garcia) leaves much to be desired. By the time the short finds some traction, its already time to move on. Christensen, as per usual, gives a flat and uninteresting performance. Garcia, even though he’s a veteran, can’t save this segment. On the opposite front, my favorite puzzle piece is actually the Brett Ratner directed story of a boy (a superb Anton Yelchin) dumped and left dateless right before the prom. His pharmacist, Mr. Riccoli (James Caan is genius in the role) lends his handicapped daughter, played by Olivia Thirbly, out for the prom. I won’t give too much away because the twist at the end of the short is brilliant. Seeing Yelchin and Thirbly, who, in my opinion are two very talented and very underrated young actors, sharing screen time is electric. Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively also appears, for a few appropriate seconds, as Yelchin’s ex. The segments either work or they don’t. Given that each is only a few minutes long, there’s not much room for middle ground.

Lets talk about Ethan Hawke. Hawke, the likeable actor and failed novelist, has been largely out of the spotlight for some time. He appears in Yvan Attal’s segment as a womanizing writer who hilariously pursues a high-end call girl (Maggie Q). Hawke, out of all the characters in New York, I Love You, has some of the wittiest and quickest dialogue to work with (Attal also co-wrote the script). Hawke makes the absolute most of the material as it plays to his exact off beat strengths. As he follows the beautiful Maggie Q around, his pickup lines are nothing short of literary and his delivery is spot on. I credit Hawke for bringing the words on the page to life in a performance that will certainly be classified as a comeback. So many times, good dialogue is wasted on poor acting. When good dialogue meets good acting, the results are a joy to behold to say the least. Hawke is one of the best parts of the entire film. Another surprise performance comes from somewhere I least expected it. Shia LaBeouf has rarely gotten to show any acting chops. He has been too busy running away from space robots or chasing down alien heads with Harrison Ford. In LaBeouf’s segment, directed by Shekhar Kapur and written by the late Anthony Minghella, he plays a crippled bellhop at a very ritzy hotel. He shares almost all his screen time with Julie Christie. The two play off each other extraordinarily well. LaBeouf nails a role that not only calls for him to use a believable accent but to also merely hint at the pain his hunched character must endure while carrying suitcases up numerous flights of stairs. Not only does he nail it, but he also holds his own with Julie Christie, who proves why she is nothing short of an icon. Hawke and LaBeouf are two of the film’s pleasant surprises.

090810_nyiloveyouI found Joshua Marston’s segement, centering around two senior citizens struggling, on their anniversary, to get back to the place they first met, dragging most of the time. Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach, who play the seniors, do a fine job but something about the story doesn’t fit. The only purpose it seems to serve is to offer some age-range variety to counteract the many stories centering on young and middle aged characters. I found myself wishing there was more to Shunji Iwai’s short about a composer (Orlando Bloom) and his mysterious over-the-phone muse (Christina Ricci). The premise is promising but, again given that each piece is only given a few minutes, the payoff seems abrupt and unsatisfactory. Bloom, in full on grungy artist mode, is excellent (especially considering he is playing off of a phone rather than another human being). When Ricci finally does show up, the chemistry just isn’t there.

Overall, New York, I Love You is worth checking out. I enjoyed seeing the work of directors I had heard of and some that I hadn’t. The myriad of actors and actresses that are given screen time gives the film a very particular pace that, at times, borders on manic. LaBeouf and Hawke are at their best. New York, I Love You, if for nothing else, is a welcome breath of fresh air in the oft-stale multiplex world.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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Thanks, IC! So, he gets good reviews at least. But I still don't think I would watch the movie at the cinema, given the fact that there are only a few minutes of Orlando and the whole movie just doesn't sound too intriguing to me.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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I've seen some clips of it and think on the whole its a cute film with him or without him.

When I'm in NewYork later this week, its on my list of things to do and see with a group of friends. I hope the soundtrack to this film is good.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Source:http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2009...le-collisions/

New York, I Love You Offers Corny Big Apple Collisions
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By Michelle Orange
Published on October 13, 2009 at 2:03pm

Billed as a "collective feature film," New York, I Love You is the second in the "Cities of Love" series, an idea that has so far proved better in theory than execution. As with its predecessor, Paris je t'aime, there are hits and misses. Producer Emmanuel Benbihy decreed that each of the 11 segments be set in a specific neighborhood, but only a few manage to capture the spirit of their surroundings. The duds, like a pickpocket three-way with Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, and Rachel Bilson and Mira Nair's corny collision between Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan, have a canned, flattened quality that drags the collective down. Orlando Bloom has some fun with the lonely freelance life, greasing up to play a composer-for-hire with an impossible client, and Ethan Hawke and Maggie Q reimagine the dynamic of the street-corner pickup. But the most effective entries bring bitter and sweet to their snapshots of the city's most elusive quality: intimacy.

Last edited by Ginger; October 13th, 2009 at 11:29 PM.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:21 AM
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Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...4eV7AD9BAGL085

Hits and misses make up `NY, I Love You'

By CHRISTY LEMIRE (AP) – 56 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES — The title is "New York, I Love You," and it's a collection of shorts intended as one big love letter to the city and all the romance it has to offer.

The result is a curiously bland hodgepodge — not terribly evocative of such a famous place, and not all that inspiring in the connections it depicts.

Following 2007's "Paris Je T'Aime," this is the second in a planned series of "Cities of Love" films. Each features a group of eclectic directors and well-known actors coming together to concoct brief clips; Rio, Shanghai, Jerusalem and Mumbai are next.

Inherently with such a structure, you're going to have hits and misses. Not all the segments are going to work for every viewer. But whereas "Paris Je T'Aime" had a healthy number of hits, "New York, I Love You" is the unfortunate opposite.

The challenge presented to filmmakers was intriguing, too: Each of them had two days to shoot, then a week to edit. Each short had to take place in an identifiable New York neighborhood. And each had to involve some kind of love encounter.

Except for Shekhar Kapur's entry, with its dreamy, ethereal light, nearly everything in "New York, I Love You" has a dark, gritty sameness that feels smothering. Aside from references to Central Park and the Dakota building and restaurants like Balthazar and Pastis, "New York, I Love You" could take place in any bustling, densely populated metropolis. Transitions between the pieces are intended to tie them together as a cohesive whole — a character from one interacts with a character from another — but they don't add much, either.

Things begin inauspiciously with Jiang Wen's short set in Chinatown. Hayden Christensen plays a pickpocket who follows a beautiful girl (his "Jumper" co-star Rachel Bilson) into a bar. Soon he finds himself in a battle of wits with her much older boyfriend (Andy Garcia). Both men light cigarettes in the bar — which has been against the law for years in New York City — injecting a distracting feeling of inauthenticity from the start.

Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan enjoy some sparks in Mira Nair's contribution (and Portman herself directs a later piece). She plays a Hasidic Jew about to get married; he plays an Indian Jain who owns a jewelry store in Midtown's diamond district. As they haggle over a stone, they also teasingly one-up each other about their religions and find an unlikely shared admiration.

Brett Ratner's segment offers a rare slice of dark humor. Anton Yelchin plays a high school senior with no date for the prom. The neighborhood pharmacist (James Caan) coaxes him into taking his daughter (Olivia Thirlby), who's in a wheelchair. There's nothing mawkish about it, and it doesn't go where you might expect.

One of two entries from Yvan Attal has a twist that you will see coming, but it features strong performances from Chris Cooper and Robin Wright Penn as a man and a woman who meet and flirt outside a restaurant. But then Shunji Iwai's piece featuring two more strangers (Orlando Bloom and Christina Ricci) who talk on the telephone is boring and goes nowhere.

The Kapur piece is pretty, of course, as you'd expect from the director of "Elizabeth." But it's bafflingly pretentious and features an odd pairing of Julie Christie as an opera singer and Shia LaBeouf as the handicapped bellhop who serves her at an elegant hotel. (The late Anthony Minghella wrote this one and was supposed to direct it before he died; the whole film is dedicated to him.)

At least "New York, I Love You" ends well with perhaps the strongest piece from director Joshua Marston. Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman play a longtime married couple who bicker while walking through Brighton Beach. It may seem shticky but these two veterans are adorable together — and it's the only segment that convincingly reflects the possibility of true and enduring love.

"New York, I Love You," a Vivendi Entertainment release, is rated R for language and sexual content.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:03 AM
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You don't see a lot of sequels in the world of independent cinema, but when the star-studded, multi-director anthology film Paris Je T'Aime was a sleeper art-house hit in 2007, the wheels were quickly put into motion for a follow-up. That film's premise--multiple stories of love in the city of light--could easily be transposed to other urban centers, stocked with new actors and directors, and presumably replicated with ease. So now we have New York, I Love You, a compilation of eleven love stories (plus transitions) from Gotham. As with most sequels, it's not as strong as its predecessor, and the slate of filmmakers is considerably less impressive. But it has its moments.

Things get off to a rough start with the Chinatown segment, directed by Chinese actor-turned-director Jiang Wen. It's not entirely his fault; the concept is clever and the story has some fine dialogue. The trouble is the casting. "Ugh," I jotted down in my notes, "Hayden Christensen is going to 'play a character'." I've never been a member of the Hayden-haters club; he's good in Shattered Glass, and I'll bet DeNiro couldn't even do anything with that Lucas dialogue. But he's just awful--using a horrible put-on voice for his dull line readings, he's so bad you're embarrassed for him. And then Andy Garcia shows up and just acts circles around the poor schmuck.

Next we go to the Diamond District for Mira Nair's piece, an unlikely intimate connection between an Indian diamond seller (Irrfan Khan) and a Hasidic bride-to-be (Natalie Portman). I'm not quite sure I bought her Yenta voice, and the story turns a bit too quickly and sharply (it may have needed to be a couple of minutes longer). But the two actors have an interesting dynamic, and the story is at least unpredictable. The surprise of the film is found in Japanese director Shunji Iwai's Upper West Side segment, and that is that the usually insufferable Orlando Bloom is actually quite good as a frustrated film composer engaged in a telephone flirtation with his director's assistant (a well-utilized Christina Ricci). It's a sweet and lovely section, with an inspired ending.
Yvan Attal's story comes in two parts (one at this point in the film, one later), each concerning an out-for-a-smoke connection--the first couple played by Ethan Hawke and Maggie Q, the second by Robin Wright Penn and Chris Cooper. Both pairs are very good together, trading their sharp, snappy dialogue with aplomb, though the little twist at the end of the second story is more predictable than in the first. The Central Park story is next; it comes to us from Brett Ratner, and as much as I hoped he might raise to the occasion, it nearly sinks the entire film. Let's go back to my notes: "Is this supposed to be funny or what?" His tale of a young man taking a girl in a wheelchair to prom is absolutely tone-deaf and rather repulsive--it wastes some wonderful actors (James Caan, Anton Yelchin, Olivia Thirlby, Blake Lively) at the service of what amounts to an enactment of an old dirty joke.

Luckily, the Greenwich Village segment (from Menace II Society co-director Allen Hughes and screenwriter Xan Cassavetes) is one of the film's strongest; it's perhaps a touch overwritten in its opening moments, but is quietly stylish and has a great, wordless payoff. The Upper East Side segment was written by Anthony Minghella, who was to direct it before his untimely death; Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) took the reins, and while the story behind the story is compelling, the same can't be said for the piece itself. Kapur makes fine use of his cast (Julie Christie, John Hurt, and Shia LaBeouf), but boy is this one overwrought--and pretentious, what with all the billowing white curtains and sad cello music. It's the first watch-checker of the film.

Next, Natalie Portman returns to the film, this time as a debuting writer/director; her short easily measures up to the more experienced filmmakers, telling the tale of a little girl (Taylor Geare) and the black man caring for her (Carlos Acosta) with an off-the-cuff feel, a tender mood, and a sophisticated trick of construction. German director Fatih Akin's Chinatown story is vividly drawn (Akin's tight close-ups are well-composed), though the story is slight, even by short film standards. After the second part of the Attal film, we arrive at the final section, a Brighton Beach story directed by Joshua Mastron (who did the excellent Maria Full of Grace). As with Paris, Je T'Aime, they end with arguably their strongest piece, which finds Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman as Abe and Mitzie, a longtime couple out for a walk on their anniversary. Their back and forth is wonderful (like a good Neil Simon play), the final beat is just perfect--and then they top it.

There are a couple of new issues with this latest installment. First and most distressingly, these eleven stories from one of the most socially progressive cities in the United States all concern straight couples. It's a bit of a shock; the Paris film at least gave us the Van Sant short (even if it was a bit of a throwaway). I'm not trying to assert some kind of a "homosexual agenda," but seriously, I live in New York, and to pretend like this city isn't teeming with gay romances is just plain crazy.

The other problem is that they can't leave well enough alone; the Marston film is a perfect conclusion (as Alexander Payne's segment was in Paris, Je T'Aime), but they keep going for a couple more minutes, using a video installation by one of the "transition" characters to try and tie everything together, not realizing that they've already passed the ideal ending. Ah, well. New York, I Love You still has much to recommend, and if it's a little bit bumpy, that's rather par for the course.
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/40177...rk-i-love-you/
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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:25 AM
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Some of these critics are hilarious. They just can't stand to compliment Orlando without back-handing him first.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:57 AM
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Which city is the greatest in the world? New York, Paris, London, Rome, Berlin — they've all inspired many celluloid fantasies. If "New York, I Love You," the latest contribution to the genre, is any indication, though, Paris has an edge over New York.

"Paris, je t'aime," a charming collection of short films released in 2006, was a fitting love letter to the City of Light. "New York, I Love You," from the same producers, is more uneven and less memorable. Yet its best segments do offer a lovely tribute to America's greatest city and remind us how much romance is be to found amidst the ambition, the bustle and the dirt.

Unlike in "Paris, je t'aime," the films of "New York, I Love You" are often intertwined, with stories told in segments. Allen Hughes' opening film finds Bradley Cooper (Gus) in a cab, on his way to meet Lydia (Drea de Matteo). They've met before, but just once. They certainly got to know each other, though.

"That was beyond sexy," Gus recalls to himself, likening the experience to being in a "Bertolucci movie." We hear what Lydia's thinking, too, and the disconnection between these two briefly connected people offers some high drama before they even re-connect. It helps that both actors really are beyond sexy.

Mira Nair's segment, the first we see almost in full, is a bit disappointing. Natalie Portman — who also directs a sparkling segment of her own — plays a Hasidic woman doing a bit of business in the diamond district right before her marriage. She shares some interesting conversation with the Jain man (Irrfan Khan) she's haggling with: "The Christians eat everything," she says in a sentence loaded with meaning after they talk about their own religions' strictures. Yet the potential devolves into farcical fantasy.

Ethan Hawke, in a hilarious film by Yvan Attal, wears priceless expressions, while Olivia Thirlby is also memorable in a segment by Brett Ratner that veers between the clever and the vulgar. Smart and funny is Shunji Iwai's film, in which a knotty director forces the composer played by Orlando Bloom to read "Crime and Punishment" and "The Brothers Karamazov" — yet he's simply scoring a cartoon.

Most moving might be the segment directed by Shekhar Kapur, who took over when its writer, Anthony Minghella, died. Julie Christie is still one of the most elegant women on-screen; she plays an aging opera singer whose reflections aren't what they seem.

There are plenty of surprises here; the short form seems to encourage twists. The best comes in Yvan Atta's film. Chris Cooper and Robin Wright Penn are two attractive people chatting outside a restaurant while both escape for cigarettes. This taut tale, unlike many of the other segments, has it all — inventive dialogue, a satisfying ending and performances from two underrated actors who charm us as much as they charm each other.
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009...rk-i-love-you/
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:05 AM
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'New York, I Love You' harbors surprises as well as the sub-par

Anthologies by their very nature are an uneven entity.

Stories told by different voices, through diverse lenses, are bound to resonate in disparate ways. But if enough individual parts grab us, then it's worth the overall effort.

New York, I Love You— a collage of 10 stories, each with different actors and directors and made in just two days — is kaleidoscopic. But some of the colors are woefully pallid, while others shine brightly. Like 2006's Paris, Je t'Aime, the patchwork assortment features some indelible moments, but it has more bland segments than the Parisian film.

The best vignettes are memorable with powerful performances, such as the haunting tale of a blind former opera singer (Julie Christie) and a hotel bellhop (Shia LaBeouf), written by the late Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) and directed by Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth). Christie and LaBeouf draw remarkable portraits of characters, making you yearn to see more of them.

One of the more charming tales stars Orlando Bloom and Christina Ricci in an engaging romance written, directed and edited by Shunji Iwai (Filmful Life).

Brett Ratner (X Men: The Last Stand) devises a delightful twist on what initially seems a predictable coming-of-age story with Anton Yelchin as a high school senior with no prom date. James Caan offers up his pretty teenage daughter (Olivia Thirlby), who turns up in her finest prom attire and in a wheelchair. Things don't progress predictably, and that's the beauty of this amusing slice of life.

Making a short film that is as wholly absorbing as a full-length feature is a special talent. It can be tougher to say more with less. Mira Nair presents some lovely visual touches in her installment, starring Natalie Portman as an Orthodox Jewish woman and Irffan Khan as her Indian business associate. But the resolution of their professional encounter feels implausible and contrived, and the narrative is insubstantial, lacking a compelling story for potentially intriguing characters.

Some of the chapters are talky, but the dialogue has flashes of honest intimacy, such as one directed by Israeli actor Yvan Attal, starring Ethan Hawke, Chris Cooper and Robin Wright Penn. Some feel like scenes we've seen before, like the film directed by Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) involving an elderly wife (Cloris Leachman) needling her husband (Eli Wallach).

Others feebly fall flat, such as the segment directed by Japanese actress Jiang Wen in which Hayden Christensen and Andy Garcia try to out-con each other, with Rachel Bilson as their connecting link.

The multicultural emphasis — both in characters and in the unusual selection and collaboration of filmmakers and artists — is one of New York, I Love You's main assets. And there's no question that Manhattan looks ever-vibrant and beautiful.

If you're not a stickler for consistency, this is an effective pastiche and tribute to one of the world's most enticing cities.
Calendar Live

Quote:
"New York, I Love You" is a cinematic salon where the topic is the serendipity of romantic possibilities to be found in Manhattan's coffee shops, restaurants, shops, bars and backrooms. Eleven directors (and even more writers) have turned up for the party, offering up 11 distinct tales of the city.

While they ramble on, we sit perched like pigeons with a bird's-eye view of the proceedings, sampling the crumbs thrown in our direction. A few of the movie morsels prove delicious, particularly those from directors Yvan Attal, Shekhar Kapur, Jiang Wen and Fatih Akin; a few of them seem half-baked; and most are never quite enough to completely satisfy, a case of story interruptus, wouldn't you know.

"New York, I Love You" begins, as good New York stories often do, in a taxi. Bradley Cooper hopping in one side, Andy Garcia the other. They are both in a hurry, so they agree to share, with Cooper heading off in director Allen Hughes' piece to figure out whether there's anything more to his steamy one-night stand with Drea de Matteo, while Garcia, in the sequence directed by Wen, is on his way to meet his girlfriend (Rachel Bilson) at a bar where Hayden Christensen turns up with an eye for the girl too.

Wen is the acclaimed Chinese actor turned director whose "Devils on the Doorstep's" look at the Japanese occupation won the 2001 Cannes Grand Prix, and Hughes is half of the Hughes brothers' team who captured the Watts war zone with 1993's "Menace II Society." Radically different filmmakers, yet typical of the eclectic and international mix of contributors here. Both infuse their segments with a blend of hope and cynicism that feels so New York.

That sensibility, as much as the city's familiar landmarks, flows through the film, which is a good thing since a videographer (Emilie Ohana) roaming the city, designed to provide the connective tissue between each of the stories, can't quite manage to tie together all those loose ends.

Producer Emmanuel Benbihy's short story idea is no doubt a tempting one for artists: blank page, a few minutes to tell the tale, a little money, a city, love; you take it from there and we'll call it a movie. And the New York 11 did have the success of predecessor "Paris, je t'aime" as a blueprint with its wish-you-were-here postcard moments strung across the City of Lights, making the experience enchanting. Next up are Rio and Shanghai in 2010, with Jerusalem and Mumbai the year after.

But where "Paris" was the ingénue, fresh-faced and surprising, "New York" needed to come in with the confidence of a more practiced hand, and it never quite manages that. Better to think of it as a day trip rather than an actual film, just a brief, mostly delightful excursion into the city.

The best stories are of the many artists embraced by the city. In Chinatown, Turkish-born German director Akin captures an older artist (Ugur Yücel) in pursuit of his latest muse, an elusive young woman (Shu Qi) he happens upon in a tea shop. On the Upper West Side, Orlando Bloom is a young composer who's struggling when aid comes in the form of a voice (Christina Ricci) on the other end of the phone, in director Shunji Iwai's piece. Both are stories of connections, missed and made -- inspiration found in unexpected places.

And then there is Kapur, who spins a gossamer web around Julie Christie as an aging opera star making a last visit to a beloved hotel, with an attentive bellboy in Shia LaBeouf, an émigré with a withered leg and a soulful mien. Written by the late Anthony Minghella, who had planned to direct, Kapur stepped in after his unexpected death, and it's hard to imagine anyone would have had a finer touch with the material. ("New York" is dedicated to Minghella.)

The film is scattered with performances that are blindingly beautiful and gone before you can take a breath. Robin Wright Penn and Chris Cooper's cigarette break, and Ethan Hawke's street-corner pass at Maggie Q, both in a sequence directed by Attal, are among the unforgettable.

Some of the filmmakers see New York in lighter shades than others. Director Brett Ratner's whimsical prom story spends a good deal of time wheeling through a sun-drenched Central Park, as does Natalie Portman's slight piece, her directing debut, a glance at mistaken identities among the children of the well-heeled.

Even the more predictable prove pleasurable, with the camera trailing the shuffling Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman as they grumble and grouse their way through their Brooklyn neighborhood in director Joshua Marston's look at long-suffering love.

In a sense, Mira Nair's segment is most reflective of the small grace notes and unfinished business of "New York, I Love You." As Portman's young Hassidic bride negotiates with Irrfan Khan's seasoned Indian diamond merchant, an unexpected intimacy begins to develop. And then it is over, an ending where there should be a beginning.

Ah well, there's always Rio.
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Quote:
Movie Review: New York, I Love You

New York, I Love You is the follow-up to Paris Je t'aime, the 2006 film that features about a dozen short vignettes about love in and for that romantic city. They are the first two films in what hopes to be a series, uniting top directors and performers from around the world. The action here is transposed to the Big Apple, the city one of the characters dubs as "the capital of everything that's possible."

The rules are still the same. Each of the filmmakers involved--including Mira Nair and Natalie Portman--had only about 24 hours to film their shorts and about a week to edit them together. Director Randall Balsmeyer was then brought in to edit the transitions that would carry the film from sequence to sequence.

This is the type of movie that audience members will each walk out taking away something entirely different. Each will also probably have their own favorites of the vignettes; each of which brings a couple of characters together in a distinguishable New York neighborhood; and each vignette turns out to be something different than it initially seems.

In the opening sequence, a pickpocket gets more than he bargained for when he targets a fellow sneak thief. Another features two characters who share a certain bond despite the valley of cultural differences between them.

As they are each directed by a different artist, every sequence has a different feel to it. A philosophical vignette directed by Shekhar Kapur and featuring the radiant Julie Christie, for instance, is very mysterious and distant. The feature-length version would surely only be found in small art house theaters. On the other hand, a sequence directed by Brett Ratner starring Anton Yelchin as a young man conned--in more ways than one--by the father of a handicapped woman into taking her to prom feels as if it could be the subject of a big budget Hollywood comedy.

The two strongest vignettes couldn't be more different. The first features Orlando Bloom as a musician charged with scoring an anime adventure for a difficult director. His only real connection on the project is a woman named Camille, whom he has never actually met. Still, a bond is formed and the segment's conclusion is charming and hopeful.

The second features veteran performers Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman as a couple that have been married for more than sixty years. They bicker their way through the New York streets until they reach the shore, where they share a romantic moment that would be the envy of all the younger stars that populate the film until their arrival.

Each of the segments are seamlessly tied together by transitional pieces that often briefly feature characters from segments either previous or upcoming. Another character seems to weave her way through each of the other's lives with her camcorder in tow. When the movie finally explains her near the end, it is a nice wrap up for the entire project.

It's nice that a film like this can bring short films out of the film festivals and into the multiplexes. This sweet, funny movie has something for everyone.

Last edited by Interconnector; October 16th, 2009 at 11:03 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Here's a shipload of more reviews - I'm just quoting Orlando's bits.
Credit and thanks to gobsmacked for collecting them:

LA Independent
Quote:
Orlando Bloom leads his segment, about a loner musician who falls for a receptionist (Christina Ricci) with whom he’s only spoken to over the phone.....
Loyola Phoenix
Quote:
One vignette stars Orlando Bloom as David, a musician who’s only a pack of cigarettes away from bankruptcy. While struggling to complete a new piece, he finds solace and aid in an over-the-phone relationship with his employer’s assistant, Camille (Christina Ricci). The two finally meet when Camille shows up unexpectedly at David’s apartment. Please, try and bend your mind around the end of that plotline.
Palm Beach Times
Quote:
Orlando Bloom has some fun with the lonely freelance life, greasing up to play a composer-for-hire with an impossible client, and Ethan Hawke and Maggie Q reimagine the dynamic of the street-corner pickup.
LA Times (sorry, no link)
Quote:
On the Upper West Side, Orlando Bloom is a young composer who's struggling when aid comes in the form of a voice (Christina Ricci) on the other end of the phone, in director Shunji Iwai's piece. Both are stories of connections, missed and made -- inspiration found in unexpected places.
Metroactive
Quote:
No complaints here about Shunji Iwai's sequence starring Orlando Bloom, regarding a romance conducted by phone.
Boxoffice
Quote:
The filmmaking here ranges from the banal to the extraordinary.... A segment about a composer struggling with a score and a difficult director starring Orlando Bloom and a disembodied female voice is pure romanticism and is wonderful; Shunji Iwai directs.
Atomicpopcorn
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"I found myself wishing there was more to Shunji Iwai’s short about a composer (Orlando Bloom) and his mysterious over-the-phone muse (Christina Ricci). The premise is promising but, again given that each piece is only given a few minutes, the payoff seems abrupt and unsatisfactory. Bloom, in full on grungy artist mode, is excellent (especially considering he is playing off of a phone rather than another human being). When Ricci finally does show up, the chemistry just isn’t there."

... and more of an article then an actual review from emanuellevy.com
Quote:
New York, I Love You: Shunji Iwai on the Upper West Side

Shunji Iwai's segment of "New York, I Love You" stars Orlando Bloom and Christina Ricci. The film, whose concept was created by Emmanuel Benihby, is being release October 16, 2009 by Vivendi Entertainment.

Holed up in a dingy uptown apartment, a young musician (Orlando Bloom) works feverishly to finish the score for an animated film – while staying in contact with the outside world only through phone calls and e-mails with the director’s mysterious and unseen assistant (Christina Ricci).

When Irrfan Khan the assistant relays the message that he must read two Dostoyevsky novels in order to understand his creative task, the musician struggles with the strange request; but when the assistant shows up at his doorstep to help him read, all their different disembodied modes of communication – from music to cell phones to literature – add up an astonishingly raw moment in the here and now.
(...)
The film also suggests a 21st century route to love, via technology. “You watch a relationship being forged out of all this media – the computers, the cell phone, the animated images, the answering machine, the music, the books,” observes Benbihy. “It’s a virtual world in many ways, yet you see a real bond being formed. I love that the segment ends at the start of a relationship because there’s a lot of hope and anticipation to it.”

True to his ethos, Iwai built most of the sets from scratch on soundstages with great attention to detail and then set his two actors, Bloom and Ricci, loose in this slightly unreal world. “Orlando and Christina had a really interesting time because this was something so different,” says Grasic. “I especially don’t think people have seen Orlando like this before – all down and grungy – and I think he really related to this experience of an artist having a very, very romantic moment. When he and Christina finally meet, it’s one of the most surprising and fun moments in the film.”



~ Naz ~
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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wow some good reviews there! Excellent- thanks Naz and gobsmacked for collecting them together. Thanks also to those posting other reviews

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The surprise of the film is found in Japanese director Shunji Iwai's Upper West Side segment, and that is that the usually insufferable Orlando Bloom is actually quite good as a frustrated film composer engaged in a telephone flirtation with his director's assistant (a well-utilized Christina Ricci). It's a sweet and lovely section, with an inspired ending.
*rolls eyes* Full of surprises Orlando huh?
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:12 PM
shenanyginz shenanyginz is offline
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So happy to hear he's getting generally good reviews! Unfortunately, I can't see it till next week. I have Friday off
I can't wait!!!

Thanks for the reviews guys!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:10 PM
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thanks and congrats, Orlando!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Thanks for the reviews!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:32 PM
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A few more reviews (sorry, no direct links ) -

LA Times.com
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The best stories are of the many artists embraced by the city. In Chinatown, Turkish-born German director Akin [Yay, Fatif Akin is great!] captures an older artist (Ugur Yücel) in pursuit of his latest muse, an elusive young woman (Shu Qi) he happens upon in a tea shop. On the Upper West Side, Orlando Bloom is a young composer who's struggling when aid comes in the form of a voice (Christina Ricci) on the other end of the phone, in director Shunji Iwai's piece. Both are stories of connections, missed and made -- inspiration found in unexpected places.
Oops, sorry

sfstation.com
Quote:
The third short centers on the romance between a music composer, David (Orlando Bloom) and Camille (Christina Ricci), a woman he’s heard on his cell phone, but never seen in person. To spur David past his creative block, Camille’s employer suggests he read Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov for inspiration, which prompts minor soul searching and the possibility of romance between two relative strangers.
blog.seattlepi.com
Quote:
The two strongest vignettes couldn't be more different. The first features Orlando Bloom as a musician charged with scoring an anime adventure for a difficult director. His only real connection on the project is a woman named Camille, whom he has never actually met. Still, a bond is formed and the segment's conclusion is charming and hopeful.

~ Naz ~
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Last edited by nazgul88; October 16th, 2009 at 10:34 PM.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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In the segment by Shunji Iwai (All About Lily Chou-Chou), Orlando Bloom is cool as a sleep-deprived composer of anime films who falls for a production assistant he knows only by phone, voiced by Christina Ricci
http://www.justpressplay.net/movie-r...-love-you.html
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Old October 17th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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Neldorwen Neldorwen is offline
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Anime films and ORLANDO.... OMG.... how cool is that?? *o*

I also noticed in the trailer there is an anime poster in the wall of his room (actually a poster from the hit anime series Death Note and the character called "L") *faints*
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Old October 17th, 2009, 10:45 PM
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I've seen it today...can't tell a proper review,because I always tend to talk too much,and don't wanna spoil the party to all of you...
But I can tell,I enjoyed the whole movie...most of the bits are quite sweet and even funny,others kinda melancholic...of course I like some of them more than others,as well as the performances and characters...Shia LaBeouf and Ethan Howke are very good,and Nathalie Portman is as efficient as always...I don't like the first bit though,especially Andy Garcia's character...
AND,about Orlando's part...well only bad thing for me,is that is way too short !He's totally sweet and credible in his part (though,for me,he always be)you just wanna go there and cuddle him...I kept a grin on my face the whole time he's on screen...and yes,Nel,he has an anime poster in his room,and we can see some images,though I didn't recognized them(Anime is not my thing...) and if I only could hear his voice...sigh...I'm used to watch his movies on DVD and original version and it's a bit weird associate that gorgeous face with another voice...but that's the price we had to pay here,for see him on a huge screen..

In short...I liked it,and I recommend it.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:32 AM
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good for you, Lola! bad for the short time of the segment, and the dubbed version, but I am happy to know Orlando did so good in this movie. I can´t wait to see the pretty surrounded by anime stuff, I know I will squee like a loon
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Old October 19th, 2009, 01:04 AM
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I saw the movie today. Orlando was excellent - so different from what we have seen him do before. It was much too short, but I can understand why he chose to play this part. It demonstrates the range of his abilities.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:42 AM
shenanyginz shenanyginz is offline
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^yay i'm so excited to see this!!!
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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:41 AM
Guin Sparrow Guin Sparrow is offline
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I want to go this weekend!

Two years of waiting paid off!

I feel like singing that well-known song, Hey-la, Hey-la, my boyfriend's back!
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Old October 19th, 2009, 06:10 AM
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Erendira, I´m glad youc could watch the movie!!

Thanks a lot for the reviews, it is good to see recognicement to his work; I´m happy for him.

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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:04 PM
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I saw the film this week-end when I was in New York. If I had to rate the film, I'd say it was ok; not great or good.

I thought Orlando's segment was cute, but what I found disappointing was that it was too short and could have evolved into more. Some of the other stories were cute and funny and some I just didn't get at all.

I was disappointed in the soundtrack. I thought they would have a variety of songs similar to the film "Love Actually" but it was nothing what I expected, and I'd not buy the CD unless the actual release changes from the film.

It is worth seeing because of Orlando's segment and a few others (Natalie Portman was great) but some others? Ick.
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