New York New York is an astonishingly dull drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli as a squabbling couple who fight and argue their way through the ups and downs of their respective showbiz careers (he’s a saxophonist, she’s a singer). At a running time of almost three hours (!), large chunks of New York New York come off as completely superfluous – a problem that only grows more and more problematic as time progresses, given that the movie eventually morphs into a full-fledged musical. Exacerbating matters is the acting, as De Niro delivers an outrageously over-the-top performance that effectively leaves Minnelli with little to do except attempt to keep up. Aside from a few oddball moments that have nothing to do with the plot – eg a bizarre, George Costanza-esque episode in which De Niro’s character gets into an incredible argument over a parking spot – there’s really not much here worth recommending, though the set design is admittedly quite impressive.
* out of ****