New York (or rather Manhattan) is my favourite city – it's exciting, exuberant and beguiling all at once, but this portmanteau movie set in the Big Apple lacks all these qualities. It's an anthology of middling romantic vignettes by different directors (each short took no more than two days to film) that are neither persuasive nor charming enough.
It's hardly fair to single one tale out above all others – they're all much of a muchness. They variously consist of disparate individuals connecting, searching for love, being betrayed, arguing, trying to win partners over, trying to escape from partners, being surprised at strangers' professions, sharing cabs - the city's diverse, multi-cultural life on full display but all grimily photographed and never once bringing out its bustling energy or style.
A similar effort was done a few years ago with Paris, Je T’Aime. That wasn't much to shout about either but at least it was a more likeable affair than this ragbag bunch of ineffectual sketches. The star cast fill out their roles efficiently but the writing is too weak to make us care about their respective travails.
Chinatown, the Diamond District, the Upper West Side, Soho, Central Park, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side and Brighton Beach are but some of the locations featured but they're never brought to vivid life such are the negligible narratives that enfold them. That said one is swiftly transported from story to story so boredom is kept at bay. It simply washes over you making little impression. Overall, a huge disappointment.