Projections - Movie Reviews

New York, New York

Fans of the big band sound of the forties and top notch jazz in the fifties will enjoy New York, New York.  However everyone will find the film long.

A familiar musical story line unfolds with Liza Minnelli the better talent of a husband wife team and Robert DeNiro number two.  DeNiro's performance is tops, he is so convincing as a moody self centered saxophone player who pushes and shoves everyone to achieve his desires, the audience may respond negatively to his performance.  After three hours of experiencing his boorish overbearing character, the viewer comes away weary.

Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) and Jimmy Doyle (DeNiro) meet at a V.J. Day party and Jimmy badgers Francine until finally after five or six approaches she gives him attention.

The courtship brings the only light moments in the film.  In a cab, Francine fights her way out of Jimmy's arms while rain pours on her back side, which is first out of the cab.  Jimmy, using his wounded soldier routine, sneaks from hotel bills totally bewildering the poor clerks.

Later she sings and he leads their band to success until a baby comes along, so Francine returns to New York and the band fails, even though Mary Kay Place (from Mary Hartman Mary Hartman) tries to save the band by replacing Minnelli in New York, New York.  She also replaces her in DeNiro's hotel room.

In New York Francine becomes a recording star.  Jimmy returns a failure, is moody, they fight, the baby is born, they fight, and separate.  She succeeds in a big way and he achieves modest success with his sax.

New York, New York suffers from long scenes in which the director, Martin Scorsese, does not or cannot cut away.  By the time Liza, sounding more and more like her mother Judy Garland, sings the title song which she has written with DeNiro the viewer is impatient for the end to come.

Minnelli fans will enjoy her performance, DeNiro is brilliant, the big band sounds and the jazz sets are super but the film is way too long.

New York, New York

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