New York Minute (2004)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - May 7, 2004 (USA)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

The Olsen twins' first post-tabloid theatrical release, New York Minute might appeal to that thin sliver of a demographic composed of 13-year-old girls -- but since so few of them are employed as film critics, it's impossible to know for sure. What can be said is that everyone else will find this movie trying at best, wholly unwatchable at worst. It's the kind of movie that engenders contempt for youth culture, since youth culture is to blame for giving these girls a career beyond Full House, as well as making popular the brand of bratty teen-pop blaring through the soundtrack. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are so physically interchangeable that the script gives them polar opposite character traits just to distinguish them -- Ashley's Jane Ryan is an ambitious young Republican, Mary-Kate's Roxy Ryan is a drum-playing school skipper. But as the two go through an impossible number of costume changes (including a half-dozen each in a Harlem beauty shop, while they're supposedly pressed for time), their acting chops aren't enough to keep their identities from permanently blending -- which mirrors the Olsens' reality pretty closely. Then there's the list of recognizable celebrities who must have either lost a bet or been paid a lot more than they're worth. Playing the girls' adversaries are Andy Richter, doing a Chinese accent as part of a wrongheaded joke without a punch line, and Eugene Levy, a truancy officer (!) tracking Roxy Ryan throughout New York City, who again proves there's nothing he won't do for a quick buck. The most puzzling appearance goes to Dr. Drew Pinsky of the radio show Loveline, whose scenes as the girls' father are thankfully short enough to save his dignity.