BY JEAN OPPENHEIMER
A high-energy action comedy, New York Minute finds the twins playing -- what else? -- twins. Ashley is Jane Ryan, a rigidly organized, detail-oriented overachiever who is an exemplary student, president of her high school class, and lead cheerleader; she dreams of attending England's Oxford University. Her rebellious sister Roxy (Mary-Kate) couldn't be more different, from her casual attire to her total lack of interest in school. The drummer in a rock band, Roxy has cut class so often, she heads the "Ten Most Wanted" list compiled by overly zealous truant officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy).
New York Minute opens with a nervous Jane heading to Columbia University to give a speech that, with luck, will earn her a scholarship to Oxford. Roxy, meanwhile, is skipping school to attend a music-video shoot in downtown Manhattan (the Canadian band Simple Plan appears as itself), at which she hopes to slip a demo tape to the A&R team accompanying the band. The sisters, who have grown apart over time, find themselves on the same commuter train heading into the city, unaware that Lomax is hot on Roxy's trail.
In no time, Roxy gets both sisters kicked off the train. In quick succession, the girls find themselves pursued by members of a nefarious music-piracy operation; repeatedly kidnapped by an ostensible limousine driver; breaking into the hotel room of a visiting U.S. Senator; baby-sitting the Senator's dog, which has inadvertently swallowed the microchip the music pirates want; eluding both Lomax and the music pirates; trying to retrieve Jane's day-planner, which holds her notes for her big speech; and getting Jane to Columbia in time to give her speech.
The energy level and action never flag. A variety of characters wend their way through the film, appearing and reappearing before their true significance to the story is revealed. And by day's end -- no surprise -- the sisters realize how much they mean to each other.
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