Tailored specifically for packs of prepubescent girls, New York Minute will be eye candy for some and brain candy for all. It casts the camera-friendly siblings in a frothy Ferris Bueller-inspired day in the life of twin sisters spinning in opposite circles. Prim and proper Jane Ryan (Ashley) preps to give a speech at Columbia University that could earn her an Oxford scholarship. Slacker sister Roxy Ryan (Mary-Kate) just wants to skip school and stay one step ahead of a power-hungry truant officer (Eugene Levy) with cop envy.
Director Dennie Gordon (What a Girl Wants) surrounds his stars with a stream of pop culture cameos on loan from MTV. Jack Osbourne takes a break from rehab stints to play Mary-Kate's bandmate. Loveline co-host Dr. Drew Pinsky takes charge as the twins' dad. And in what amounts to a 90-minute commercial for their band, Canadian punksters Simple Plan appear everywhere in the film - topping out with a one-song concert at a staged video shoot. I like Simple Plan, but this is selling out big time.
Minute goes down smoother than most sticky-sweet tween escapades, though, because it always has the Olsens to fall back on. There's no denying their chemistry, courtesy of a lifetime of on-screen experience. They're adept at physical comedy routines and share a good comic timing.
The versatile Levy makes the most of his inadequate material. How he can transition comfortably from Christopher Guest's best to this schlock is beyond me. A floundering Andy Richter, however, proves he never should have left Conan O'Brien's couch. Playing a hired hit man born to an Asian mother, Richter seems strangely overmatched. Note to Andy: If the script calls for you to get urinated on by a dog, take a pass. There's not enough money in the world for you to have to endure such humiliation.
Speaking of money, don't the Olsens have enough moolah to purchase a smarter screenplay? Half the Minute jokes involve toilet seats and dog poop, while the other half drop obvious hints at the girls' not-so-secret sexuality. Ashley, in fact, is left tastefully naked twice in the film's first five minutes and spends more than enough time in a hotel towel. Don't sit too close to the strange man wearing a trench coat in the theater if indeed you decide to pay to see Minute. He's not there for the elaborate plot twists. Sharper digs at the Hilton sisters and Manhattan tourists practically slip by undetected. They should have been moved to the forefront. Add a full star if you've ever wasted an afternoon dreaming up similar adventures with your Barbie dolls.
The NYM DVD adds a gag reel, two alternate endings, and a selection of making-of footage.
Let the orgy begin!
Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Friday 7th May 2004
Box Office USA: $14.0M
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Dualstar Entertainment Group, DiNovi Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 104
IMDB: 4.7 / 10
Director: Dennie Gordon
Starring: Ashley Olsen as Jane Ryan, Mary-Kate Olsen as Roxy Ryan, Eugene Levy as Max Lomax, Andy Richter as Bennie Bang, Riley Smith as Jim, Simple Plan as Themselves, Drew Pinsky as Dr. Ryan, Darrell Hammond as Hudson McGill, Andrea Martin as Senator Anne Lipton, Bob Saget as Himself, Jack Osbourne as Justin, The Naked Cowboy as Himself, Ernest Borgnine as Himself
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