Directed by Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Randall Balsmeyer, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman, Brett Ratner
Written by Hu Hong, Yao Meng, Israel Horovitz, Suketu Mehta , Shunji Iwai, Olivier Lécot, Jeff Nathanson, Xan Cassavetes, Stephen Winter, Anthony Minghella, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Ethan Hawke, James Caan, Robin Wright, Shia LaBoeuf, Chris Cooper, Eli Wallach, Cloris Leachman
Different people from all walks of life experience love within the great city of New York. From budding romance, to pure infatuation, from lifelong love, to unexpected attraction different couples learn more about love.
This movie is the collective effort of almost a dozen directors and more than a dozen writers. That list includes Natalie Portman (Thor: The Dark World), Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven), and Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain) to name a few. This all-star cast includes Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Christina Ricci, Ethan Hawke (Dead Poet’s Society), James Caan (The Godfather), Robin Wright (Forrest Gump), Shia LaBoeuf (Transformers), Chris Cooper (October Sky), Eli Wallach (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), and Cloris Leachman (The Croods).
The story, like many multiple story efforts, is a mix of highs and lows. Unfortunately, this one also features a lot of forgettable moments that seem to waste opportunities with the talented cast. The story also seems to find reasons to be cynical, which feels out of place when love is the theme of the film. Overall, this has some charming moments, but doesn’t work when everything is seen together. This is also likely due to the number of writers and directors involved in the production. That many creative voices seem to muddle to final product.
The acting is doomed to be forgettable thanks to the weakness of the story. Like the writing, there are some cute moments, but nothing that helps this hold together. The stars in this one do good work, but it’s just not material that allows them to do much. Overall, this is a well-acted movie that misses out thanks to weak the script.
This movie is a prime example of taking a genre too far. Like Love Actually and Valentine’s Day, this movie attempts to weave in and out of the lives of many unconnected people. Unfortunately, this one fails to find any common arc between the stories. The theme of love, while well-communicated, isn’t enough to make this a cohesive film. The end result is a collection of cute little vignettes that have charming moments but don’t leave much of a lasting impression. If you’re a fan of any of the stars you might find some entertainment value in this one, otherwise it doesn’t offer much. I give this one 1.8 out of 5 stars.
Running Time: 103 Minutes