New York Minute

It’s no co-incidence that New York Minute is being released within a few weeks of its stars, Mary-Kate and Ashley, turning eighteen. It’s a sick marketing move made to cash in on the disturbed sex appeal of its pre-legal stars, for whom websites with birthday counters have been dedicated. The film itself is little different, a child’s film that tries to work in as much sexualization as possible to appeal to the pervert male adult demographic with one hand, while force feeding kiddies their favorite direct-to-video stars in their second big screen adventure with the other.

For the uninitiated (lucky you) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are very rich twins who make their acting dollar selling mildly entertaining videos to parents with little girls. They’ve been at it since they first fell out of the cradle, starting out opposite Bob Saget on the television show “Full House” where the two toddler twins were used to portray one character. Their acting hasn’t really progressed much beyond those days, though they may now actually have lines and drivers licenses in their wallets. By my count, they’ve released no less than twenty six straight to video movies since 1994, which is the sort of pace you usually expect only from the porn industry.

In New York Minute, they’re out of the VCR and into a big budget picture, complete with pseudo stars like “Loveline’s” Dr. Drew and comedic cellar dweller Eugene Levy. It follows their mis-adventures on a singular day in New York City, for which the very different twins Jane (Ashley Olsen) and Roxy (Mary-Kate Olsen) Ryan skip school. We know they’re different because the film establishes their personality’s right from the outset by having Jane put on glasses. She only wears them briefly, but it instantly grounds her as the “smart” one, while Roxy’s incessant drum playing and Metallica attire firmly entrenches her as the “wild” one.

From a rough morning of glasses wearing and drum playing, the two leave home and head to New York. Roxy is a perennial truant (she is the wild one after all) and is thus pursued by the local truant officer (Eugene Levy), an overzealous enforcer with dreams of becoming a real police officer. Apparently it is not enough for Officer Lomax to catch the girls in the act; he must also “haul them in” Dragnet style… because apparently they can’t just be given detention the next time they show up at school. So he hunts them all the way to New York, spots them, they escape, the cycle continues.

In the mix is a white guy who thinks he’s Asian (Andy Richter). He’s hunting the twins because they stumbled onto his stolen microchip. He wants it back and ends up holding Jane’s day planner (which she has because she’s the good one) and a really hot guy who isn’t her boyfriend, hostage as collateral. The funny thing is, he gets his ass kicked repeatedly by two 80 pound twins, but seems to have no problem overpowering and holding prisoner a healthy, well muscled, twenty year old guy.

In the end, concerts are enjoyed, bling is created, and a variety of excuses are invented to put underage hotties in loose fitting towels. But what I wonder is how did they decide who got to be the “bad” twin? Do you think Mary-Kate and Ashley fought over it? Or did they perhaps switch out halfway through the movie? It’s impossible to tell. Besides their attire and pre-written quirks, both twins are identical not only in appearance, but in performance. They’re just Mary-Kate and Ashley, sputtering out dialogue in a barely passable manner. You’d think that since they started acting before they could walk, they might be pretty good. You would be wrong.

New York Minute is nothing more than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off re-enacted by over-sensualized, underage spider-monkeys. It’s a blatant rip-off of that 80’s classic without any of the charm or jokes or talent. Eugene Levy is as usual a total flop and I’ve officially started to hate him. He long ago squandered any good will built up by his better work in American Pie by playing variation after variation of that tired out Dad character in a pants load of horrible movie-going experiences. I don’t care if he turns it all around and starts doing Othello. I’ve had enough of him. Drum him out of the business and send Mary-Kate and Ashley right along with them. They and this movie, subsist off the wallets of clueless parents and inappropriate lusting. It’s not only bad filmmaking; it is actually a little twisted. Now that they’re legal, will all the mystery at last leave the Olsen twins? Hopefully this will be their final mis-adventure.