New York Minute (4/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

My aunts were identical twins. What I know about identical twins, I know from them. They would get up in the morning, even after one of them had married and moved away, and dress in the same clothes. Identical twins are formed by the same sperm and egg. The zygote (fertilized egg) splits sometime before the 12th day after conception and prior to implantation in the uterus. Both grow to be human beings, and they have the same DNA but different fingerprints.

Jane Ryan (Ashley Olsen) and Roxy (Mary-Kate Olsen) are twins, but apparently not identical. They certainly look alike, but itís never explained whether theyíre identical or fraternal. Their personalities are anything but similar. One is an anal-retentive control freak and the other is a free spirited rock music lover.

Thatís the premise of this movie. They are different and they donít get along. Jane is to give a speech that will determine whether she gets a scholarship to Oxford and Roxy is cutting school so she can go to a rock concert. Roxy is being pursued by an obsessed truancy officer, Max Lomax (Eugene Levy), who is stuck in a role that is patently ludicrous.

While on their way to their respective destinations, someone drops a computer chip with thousands of purloined songs in Roxyís purse and wannabe Chinese gangster Bennie Bang (Anglo Andy Richter) is trying to get it back. Since heís a limo driver he offers them a ride into the City. He tries to kidnap them to get the chip but they get away. However, in the process, Jane loses her day planner that contains her speech. The rest of the film is Bennie and Max pursuing Jane and Roxy, and Jane trying to get her speech back. Along the way Jane and Roxy meet a couple of hunks, Trey Lipton (Jared Padalecki) and Jim (Riley Smith), who become smitten with them.

Without any question, this is a film for teenagers. In fact, the MPAA should consider a rating called TO (teenagers only). Levyís character is so absurd that I donít think even teenagers would find it humorous. That said, I didnít mind this too much. It has good cinematography of New York and not enough music from the Canadian punk pop band Simple Plan (nominated as Best New Artist at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards for their video Addicted). Thereís one segment of the film thatís at a rock concert and the music was pretty good.

The Olsen sisters are becoming cultural icons in the teen world. They were regulars on the TV Series Full House from the time they were 9 months old. Then they became the executive producer-stars of a hugely successful home video series with nearly 40 million units sold. They launched the mary-kateandashley brand, which includes a popular fashion and lifestyle products line, childrenís book collection and videogame franchise, which will collectively gross over $1 billion at retail this year. Itís not surprising that they co-produced this Warner Bros. Feature.

I canít recommend this to any adult. But if you have children they should like it and adults shouldnít be bored out of their skulls. Iíve seen worse.

May 2, 2004

The End