Australian Council on Children and the Media

New York Minute

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 13 (Viol.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for New York Minute
  • a review of New York Minute completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 July 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Children under 8 will need parental guidance to view this movie
Children aged 8-13 Some children in the 8-13 age bracket might still need some parental guidance.
Children over the age of 13 Children over the age of 13 should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: New York Minute
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Low level violence
Length 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jane and Roxy Ryan are twin sisters who are as very different in personality. Jane is compulsively neat, overly anxious and in control of where she wants to go with her life. She has her heart set on winning a scholarship to Oxford University and has been preparing the speech she has to give for a very long time. Roxy on the other hand, has a much more laid back attitude to life. She’s not interested in school and spends most of her energies devising ways to avoid it. Her great love is music and she longs to play the drums in a rock band. Their Mum died some years earlier and Jane feels that she has to take responsibility both for her father, who leads a busy life as a doctor, and for Roxy.

Jane wakes on the important day of her speech to a nightmare in which everything goes wrong. The nightmare turns out to be not very different from what actually happens. Dad promises to try and make the speech but asks Roxy to take Jane to the station to catch the train to New York. After catching the train with Jane, Roxy gets them both thrown off because she has no ticket. They unwittingly land in the middle of what appears to be a drug deal, but which is in fact the handing over of a microchip containing pirated music. This microchip is worth millions of dollars to the owner of a Chinese nail salon who makes illegal CD’s and DVD’S. The dealer slips it into Roxy’s bag which results in Bernie, the Chinese nail salon’s adopted son, chasing the girls all over New York. Roxy is also being ruthlessly pursued by Max Lomax, official truant officer, who’s determined to catch her.

The pursuits result in much mayhem and unfortunate disasters for the girls. Jane finally arrives at the auditorium to deliver her speech but is too late. However all is not lost as Roxy has held the fort for her.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie but all set in a comic context:

  • Roxy punches a man in the face
  • Roxy and Bernie jujitsu fight with sticks—Roxy kicks Bernie, knocking him out
  • Rinaldo, a hairless dog, gets thrown around the room and out of the hotel window
  • A boy crashes his bike, falls over the handlebars, and lands on top of Jane
  • Lomax crowd surfs but no-one catches him—he falls heavily to the ground
  • Jane smashes a door into Bernie’s face.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Some of the above mentioned scenes may be disturbing to children under the age of five. In addition:

  • Lomax is an intimidating, threatening man
  • There is a scene where Jane is taking a shower and Roxy’s pet giant carpet python comes into the shower. This causes Jane to have a panic attack.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Most children over the age of eight would not be scared by this movie.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group would not be scared by this movie.

Product placement

There were no specific product placements. However, as the movie was set in New York, many brands, McDonalds in particular, were visible at various stages of the movie.

Sexual references

There were no sexual references in this movie.

Nudity and sexual activity

There was no sexual activity in this movie. While there was no actual nudity, the girls do run around New York wearing only towels.

Use of substances

There is only one scene involving alcohol, where a drunk spills his drink all over Jane.

Coarse language

There is no coarse language in this movie.

In a nutshell

There is not really any take home message in this movie which has models some very dubious behaviours. The fact that the girls are rewarded for lying and cheating is questionable.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • determination
  • empathy
  • forgiveness.

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • lying to parents and teachers
  • avoiding school
  • accepting lifts from strangers
  • irresponsible behaviour
  • breaking into hotel rooms
  • car stealing
  • driving without a licence.

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