Back Shelf Beauties
by Willie Waffle

New York Minute

I have said it before, and I'll say it again. When Bob Saget is the best thing you have going for you in a movie, you're up the creek. See his cameo then run for the exit! New York Minute is horribly conceived, dreadfully written and horrendously acted. It made me long for the days of Gigli.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen star as Roxy and Jane - two estranged twin sisters who couldn't be more different if the script tried. Jane (the good twin) is heading into New York City for the day attempting to win a scholarship to Oxford. Meanwhile, Roxy (the bad twin) is a serial truant of legendary proportions who is cutting school to see a music video get made, and put her band's CD in the hands of some record company executives. A twist of circumstance sticks the two together when Roxy accidentally comes into possession of a super duper computer microchip that holds thousands of illegal, pirated CDs and DVDs that are going to be sold on the streets of New York by the Chinese Mafia, which is chasing after them to get it back (it was at this exact moment I looked to the heavens and apologized to God for whatever it was I had done to deserve this movie). From here, a series of Three's Company-like hijinx ensue.

Can Jane get to her big speech on time? Can Roxy get to the music video taping? Will they be able to evade the Chinese Mafia?

As I was watching New York Minute, I was reminded of the Monkees' movie, Head. An old Hollywood story claims The Monkees, producer Bob Rafelson and/or writer Jack Nicholson (yes, THAT Jack Nicholson) wanted to make the worst movie possible, so The Monkees would be destroyed forever and set free from their imprisonment as sugary sweet pop teen idols. I can only pray this was the intention behind New York Minute. The alternative (someone actually thought this was funny and entertaining) is too frightening for words.

Writers Emily Fox, Adam Cooper, and Bill Collage have provided a script that tries to cram every cliché ever seen into one movie. The twins are complete opposites like every movie or TV show about twins you have ever seen. Jane and Roxy's journey through New York is full of conveniences and coincidences that can only happen in the movies to get them out of trouble or give them help along the way. And, of course, two cute guys who are too old for the twins fall in love with them in sickeningly cute fashion. Worst of all, New York Minute suddenly becomes a sappy drama about how the two sisters have grown apart since their Mom died and how they miss each other. YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK.

Ultimate responsibility for this disaster lies at the feet of stars and producers, The Olsen Twins (I know they want to me to call them Mary-Kate and Ashley, but they don't earn that right until one of them does something solo). If these two showed a smidgen of a glimmer of charm or talent, I could forgive many sins. However, neither of them shows any ability to act or make us laugh. The attempts at slapstick and physical comedy are stiff and stupid. Neither of them ever, just once, seems to deliver the punch line at the right moment or with any conviction, and the attempts to get all dramatic at the right moment are contrived and have been done before. The Olsen Twins are lost and going through the motions with no ability to draw in the audience and make us care about their ridiculous plight. While the cast is full of comedy superstars like Eugene Levy as the truant officer, Darrell Hammond as a guy who ends up crossing paths with the twins and Andrea Martin as a Senator, the movie is not funny.

Worst of all, I was offended at the sexing up of Mary-Kate and Ashley. They're just 17 (and you know what I mean). I like a scantily clad good-looking gal as much as the next guy, but can't we draw the line at illegal? If I'm uncomfortable as the two run around New York in towels, get skirts ripped short so they are instant minis, hide behind stuff to conceal nudity, and unbutton shirts down to THERE, how is the well-meaning Mom or Dad supposed to feel when he or she has to sit through it with an 11-year old?

It was one thing when the Olsen Twins were bilking a generation out of its allowance money by convincing naïve, easily influenced children to spend millions on direct-to-video movies, rugs, perfume and other junk they sell with their names on it. Like any great businessperson or mobster, they saw an easy mark and took every penny they could. However, it must stop, and it must stop now. The Olsen Twins are trying to pass off a pale Ferris Bueller's Day Off rip-off as great cinema, and they're taking poor Eugene Levy down with them. New York Minute may be the worst movie I have ever seen.

-1 Waffle (Out Of 4)

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