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Reel Toronto: New York Minute

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.
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We just don’t know what to do with Eugene Levy. His work on SCTV alone earns him a lifetime pass. Throw in his performances in A Mighty Wind, and even Splash and American Pie, and you’d think he can basically do no wrong. But you‘d be wrong.
Make no mistake: Levy has committed some of the greatest cinematic crimes perpetrated in this vicinity, from crappy American Pie sequels to cinematic abominations like The Man and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. We understand a guy’s got to keep the lights on, but we still never thought we’d see him in—gulp—an Olsen Twins vehicle.
But here he is in New York Minute which, despite the title, you just know was so totally, like, shot here.


There might be a plot, but all we managed to glean during our get-through-this-as-quick-as-possible viewing was that they’re twins and they’re in New York trying to accomplish stuff. One is smart and the other is trying to meet some lame band. ‘Nuff said.
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This is the climax (such as it is) where Ashley (we’re pretty sure) has made a big speech in the George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
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It’s there we learn that Levy has somehow dragged Andrea Martin into this debacle too. This isn’t even one of the Top 100 funny things these two have done together. You might need to watch a little High Q to cleanse your palate.
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But that’s not all the Weston-ish stuff in this movie. They dolled up this section of Weston Road to be New Yorkish. Here’s Levy cruising past the Bargain Stop, near Lawrence.
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Here he is again, outside “Big Shirl’s House of Bling,” set up on this block of nearby stores. You can see this condo in the background, eh—so it ain’t Manhattan.
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Here is a wider shot with the girls getting ready to get blinged up. And, OMG , if you want to re-live the scene yourself, there’s a playset you can totally buy.
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Apparently they have GO Trains in New York…
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…and apparently they shot at the Georgetown station.
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They also do some underground transit travellin’…
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…at Lower Bay.
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One of the most popular “it could be New York” locations is the small area around Temperance Street and Sheppard Street. We saw Sheppard last time out, in Bulletproof Monk, and here we’re just around the corner, on Temperance.
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Somehow they end up at the Royal York. Look how lovely its lobby is!
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Then they run outside and you can see the front here…
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…and this guy comes around the corner on his bike, on York Street
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…and runs right into them again, behind the hotel, on Piper Street.
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And here the twins are in a limo, with Queen’s Park Circle‘s Frost Building visible out the window.
Funny (or sad?) trivia: director Dennie Gordon went to the Yale School of Drama. For realsies! That was money well spent. Without this training who knows what kind of train wreck this film might have been. Good news: she’s since directed episodes of The Office and 30 Rock, so she’s doing all right. Oh, and the Olsen Twins? Yeah, they’re doing okay too, last we checked.

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