NEW YORK MINUTE is a light, frantic teenage comedy that picks up steam as it goes along, but that has some moral problems in the resolution to its story conflicts.
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, affectionately known as the Olsen twins, play Jane and Roxy Ryan, respectively, two very different sisters who have grown apart. Jane is studious and conservative to the point of being annoying, while Roxy is a wild teenager who cares only for loud rock and roll, an annoying trait in itself.
Jane has to deliver an important speech at Columbia University, which could land her an Oxford scholarship in England. The same day, Roxy plans on skipping school so she can deliver demo tapes of her rock band to the record producers for the group Simple Plan, who are shooting a rock video in New York City. Hot on Roxy’s truant tail is Max Lomax, a truant officer who thinks he’s Dick Tracy, played by comic actor Eugene Levy.
Roxy gives Jane a ride to the train station, but she unknowingly gets Jane kicked off the train. At the train station where they get off, a mysterious Chinese man drops something into Roxy’s handbag before the police grab him. Waiting to pick up the Chinese man is Benny Bang (played by Andy Richter), the adopted Caucasian son of Ma Bang, the criminal owner of a Chinese restaurant whose sons are helping her steal American music and videos for illegal sale overseas. The thing in Roxy’s bag turns out to be a computer chip filled with stolen music.
Benny tries to kidnap Roxy and Jane. They barely escape, but their clothes get ruined, so they sneak into a fancy hotel suite to clean up. While there, however, Jane learns that Benny has her journal, which includes all the notes for her scholarship speech that afternoon. The hotel room’s guest, who just happens to be a senator, has left her pet Chihuahua, Reynaldo, in the suite. As Jane makes arrangements with Benny to exchange the computer chip and the journal, Reynaldo swallows the chip, leading to further complications and wild scenarios.
The cast, including the Olsens, and characters are appealing enough to turn NEW YORK MINUTE into an enjoyable 92 minutes. The filmmakers have wisely decided to include some funny TV comics in the shenanigans, although Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy’s co-star on Canada’s SCTV in the 1970s, and Darrell Hammond of TV’s SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE are under-utilized.
NEW YORK MINUTE is aimed at younger fans of the Olsen twins, but it does contain some light potentially objectionable content. For example, there’s the question of how to retrieve something that a dog has swallowed. Also, Jane is such an organized neat freak that she places three paper coverings over the toilet seat before she sits down, even at home. Furthermore, in one scene, Jane, clothed in only a towel, runs after the dog when a handsome young bike messenger she met earlier accidentally runs into her with his bike and falls on her, with only the towel between them. Finally, at the end of the movie, a lie resolves some of the story and character conflicts, and Roxy’s truancy from school is never punished.
Thus, while the second half of NEW YORK MINUTE is loaded with funny situations and characterizations, the movie is not as morally uplifting as it could have been.
(B, Pa, PC, Ho, L, V, S, N, AA, MM) Moral worldview with some immoral pagan elements where lying resolves some conflicts and school truancy is not ultimately punished, with some politically correct stereotypes where a studious, overly serious character is a Republican while her wild sister loves rock and roll, and effeminate hairdresser; light foul language includes one “dang,” one “butt,” five exclamatory “My Gods,” some light toilet humor, and dog pees in man’s face; slapstick violence includes pratfalls, car chase, car driver runs into trash cans while driving recklessly, RV scrapes against building, girls splashed with dirty water and booze, some light sexual innuendo such as teenage girls are wearing only towels after showering when a young man intending to take a shower too enters a bedroom and remarks that this may be his lucky day, plus some brief kissing; upper male nudity and girl dreams she’s naked while giving a speech; drunken bum in one scene; no smoking or illegal drugs; and, kidnapping, girl held hostage, lying and school truancy are not really rebuked but validated, and some may be offended by Asian stereotypes.
NEW YORK MINUTE is a lively teenage comedy starring Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen as Jane and Roxy Ryan , respectively. Jane is a studious high school senior scheduled to deliver an important speech at Columbia University for scholarship to Oxford, but Roxy is a notorious school truant anxious to get her rock band’s demo heard by some music industry honchos attending a live video shoot in downtown New York. On the day Jane is supposed to deliver her speech, the two girls accidentally get involved in a plot to send pirated music to China for illegal sale overseas.
NEW YORK MINUTE is aimed at younger fans of the Olsen twins, but it does contain some light potentially objectionable content. For example, there is some light toilet humor and light sexual innuendo, but nothing explicit. Also, at the end of the movie, a lie resolves some of the story and character conflicts, and Roxy’s truancy from school is never punished. Thus, while the second half of NEW YORK MINUTE is loaded with funny, wacky situations and characterizations, the movie is not as morally uplifting as it could have been, especially for a movie rated PG.