HIFF2019: Movie Review – In a New York Minute (2019)

In a New York Minute (2019)

  • Narrative Feature/Official Selection
  • 102 Minutes/USA/2019
  • Drama/Romance
  • Director: Ximan Li

Premise: “In A New York Minute” follows three strangers connected by a single pregnancy test. Amy is haunted by a past breakup that has manifested into an eating disorder. Angel is caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina moonlights as an escort in order to support herself.

In a New York Minute is an engaging romantic drama with three intersecting storylines all involving Chinese/Chinese-American women. The three stories are varied enough so that you’re never bored. However, the way the storylines interconnect with each other didn’t pay off for me the way that the movie intended.

The film follows 3 separate women having separate (but intersecting) experiences in their romantic and professional lives. Of the 3 intersecting stories, I was most invested in the first woman’s story. Amy is getting over a breakup and struggling with an eating disorder. She enters into a romance with some unique circumstances attached to it. It’s a charming story with some serious overtones. However, of the trio of storylines, this is the one that feels like it could sustain itself throughout a feature length film.

The other storylines are less interesting. However, to the film’s credit, while they’re very different from one another they still retain the flow and overall tone of the film. Angel’s story of her extramarital affair with a man who appeals to her artistic aspirations is solid. However, it’s slightly hampered by how one dimensional her husband is written.

Nina’s escort storyline is solid on its own. The romantic relationship at its core has its charms. Though, her home life and interactions with her brother are more interesting. These interactions become even more engaging as Nina’s worlds collide. The downside is that her relationship and her love interest’s aspirations fall a bit by the wayside and don’t connect so strongly.

The three women’s stories all intersect through their interactions with a single pregnancy test. The truth behind the test doesn’t come out until a bit late in the film and, overall it’s satisfying. However, the script works just a little too hard to put the different women in motion to cross paths with the test. This certainly made the climax of the film a little difficult to enjoy as the manner in which the stories intersected didn’t resonate with me,

Nevertheless, In a New York Minute certainly has its charms. The shots of New York City are (no surprise) wonderful to look at and the performances are all strong across the board. Though it had some plotting issues to contend with, overall, this was a solid romantic drama that had more good things working for it than bad.

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