Director: Gary King
Writer: Gary King
Producers: Gary King, Sujata King,Jeremy Koerner, Rajni Narasi, Jason Varner
Starring: Susan Cagle, Jenn Dees. Jared Asato, Mark DiConzo, John Weisenburger, Jeremy Koerner, Vanessa Streiff, Kether Donohue, Molly Ryman, Bridget Trama, David Winning
MPAA Rating:Not Yet Rated
Running time: 92 min.
I was contacted way back on October 13th, which also just happens to be my birthday, about the film New York Lately. After a bit of discussion back and forth I requested a screener to review for the site. I was interested in his movie for a few reasons. First off I love checking out unknown independent films in hopes that I might discover a hidden gem that I can go around telling everyone about. Secondly I did a bit of checking around and the few reviews I was able to find were all pretty good. Sometime shortly after the request the DVD showed up on my door and I put it on the shelf with my many other DVDs. The idea of watching it was always there but I just was unable to find the time to sit down with King’s movie.
It is now about 4 months later and I finally decided that I owed it to the movie so I forced myself to head into my basement and I threw the DVD in. The movie started out well enough. I was introduced to several different characters that came across as average people dealing with relationships, work, and life in general. The initial few scenes held enough promise that I was starting to be drawn into their lives. The more I watched the more cared about each and every character. These were real people with stories that rang completely true to me. By the end of the movie I was cared for these characters strongly, in fact I would say that I cared for them more than I have in a long while. Everything about their experiences just touched me.
In some ways New York Lately reminds me of a Woody Allen Film. It revolves around the lives of normal people. Several of the stories intertwine but at no point did it feel forced and one of the stories was completely separate. Of all the stories told my favorite would have to be the tale of the mystery writer, Elliot George (Jeremy Koerner) who believes that his wife Julianne (Bridget Trama) is having an affair. Elliot hires a private investigator (Vanessa Streiff) that just happens to be a young attractive woman. As they spend time together following his wife they develop a strong relationship and goes places that neither expected. In many ways the relationship between these two characters is why I enjoyed New York Lately as strongly as I did. King could have taken the relationship in several ways at several points and each time he chose what I would consider the most truthful honest path. No matter what Elliot may feel about his wife’s possible affair you can tell through each and every scene that what he is going through is not a simple process, which simply ends up with him having an affair.
The rest of the stories all connect through friends, co-workers and lovers. Each of them rang as truthful as the story of Elliot. I am grateful that Gary King contacted me and offered me a chance to review his movie. If I had been smarter I would have watched it last year and there is a good chance that I would have placed it on my top ten list. King has created a beautiful film that deals with love, hope, friendship, respect, betrayals in such an honest true manner that it really did touch me. If you have the chance to catch this on the 2009 Festival Circuit I can’t recommend it highly enough.