A few years ago I fell hard for a movie called "Paris, je t'aime," a series of 18 beautiful short films about Paris. Now comes "New York, I Love You," and though it's not quite as wonderful, it's still one of the best movies of the year.
This time around we get 11 stories, each about eight minutes in length, some interconnecting, some standing alone. Top-flight directors work with actors ranging from Natalie Portman and Christina Ricci to Bradley Cooper and Chris Cooper.
In one of my favorite segments, Hayden Christensen is a pickpocket who falls for Rachel Bilson, who is having an affair with the married Andy Garcia. Their afternoon dance of words in a Manhattan tavern is the stuff of a David Mamet play.
James Caan appears in a couple of the stories as a pharmacist who sounds like a gangster but seems to have a paternal interest in his customers. Olivia Thirlby is his daughter. I love Olivia Thirlby. We need more Olivia Thirlby in our lives.
Some of the stories come with a nifty twist. Some are just lovely slices of life. Once in a while, there's a moment so true and so real you can feel your heart hurting. "New York, I Love You" is indeed a love letter to the city, and to the endless stream of dreamers, schemers, lovers, thieves and characters that populate the city. Don't miss this movie.