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Film Reviews: New York Lately (2008) - By Duane L. Martin
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2008 @ 18:56:38 Mountain Standard Time by Duane

 Back in May of 2005 I reviewed an absolutely brilliant comedy short from director Gary King called Hubris.  It was obvious from that film that Gary King not only had a huge amount of talent as a film maker, but that I could expect to see even better things from him in the future.  For a long time now, I had known about a film he had been working on called New York Lately.  I didn't know all that much about it other than that it was a feature length film, and vastly different from his short comedy Hubris.

Fast forward to today.  I got the film in the mail earlier this month, and when I had a chance to sit down in watch it, I was simply in awe at how brilliant it was.  This whole thing is like a showcase of what to do right in a film, and when it was over, I was sitting there almost stunned, as it had far exceeded all of my expectations and left me wondering how I could write a review that would properly express just how good of a movie this truly is.

New York Lately is the story of a group of loosely connected people, their daily experiences, problems and situations, and how their paths cross during everyday life in New York City.  Actually, one of the stories is kind of separate from the main group, and that involves Jeremy Koerner playing a mystery writer who's basically miserable with life and suspecting that his wife is having an affair with someone from the office.  He hires a female private detective to track her and ends up developing a special relationship with her, as for years she has been a fan of his books.  This part of the story didn't have any intersections with the other people in the film, but it was equally as good as the rest of the plot lines and very interesting in its own right.

The other plot lines involve an HR manager who's miserable in his job because he's always having to lay people off, his friend who also works at the office who loves to pay for massages with happy endings and can't seem to bring himself to get into a real relationship with someone, another friend of theirs who was in a relationship that fell apart, a girl who works at a local coffee shop who dreams of being a musician, and her friend who also works at the coffee shop who dreams of becoming a big time actress, but has yet to make it, leaving her desperate to make something happen.

It's all very involved, but the reason it all works is because these people aren't all jumbled together in an effort to make plot developments happen.  Every interaction between the characters feels casual and natural.  There's nothing forced or contrived about any of it, which is so unbelievably refreshing I can't even tell you.  One of the most natural feeling elements of the film in my opinion is the relationship that develops between HR manager Jared (Jared Asato - who was also one of my favorite people in Hubris) and the coffee shop girl Truly (Susan Cagel).  The circumstance of their meeting was nothing more than a coincidence and a product of timing, and the relationship between them developed very slowly in in baby steps here and there throughout the film.  I know it may sound sappy to say it, but it was really nice the way it all came about, and it makes you feel happy just seeing how it all plays out.

On the technical side of things, the film was incredibly well made.  I expected nothing less from Gary King.  The camera work was beautiful, the editing had those special "Gary King" touches I expected from his work after seeing the work he did in Hubris, the music was great and very appropriate to the content of the film, the sound was well recorded and clear throughout, the locations were great, and basically I can't really think of anything to ding this film on technically.  This is just simply a quality production in every respect.

I absolutely cannot recommend this movie highly enough.  Even if dramas with a touch of comedy aren't your thing, you should put any pre-conceived notions aside and check this film out.  It's an absolutely wonderful piece of work and can be enjoyed by anyone.

If you'd like to find out more about this film, you can check it out at its website,, and you can also check out the Kitchen Table Film's website at to find out about this film as well as Gary King's other work.

Monday, November 03, 2008 @ 18:56:38 Mountain Standard Time Film Reviews |
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