Sidewalks Of New York

Review Date:
Director: Edward Burns
Writer: Edward Burns
Producers: Edward Burns, Margot Bridger
Edward Burns as Tommy
Heather Graham as Annie
Stanley Tucci as Griffin
This film features several intertwining stories of New York singles and couples, with vignettes from their everyday lives side by side with love and sex questions and analysis for a faux-documentary, in which they all seem to be participating. They speak of love, infidelity, romance, happiness, sex and everything else you’d expect to be discussed in the realm of relationships.
An interesting, somewhat insightful, sometimes clever, but mostly reminiscent of Woody Allen’s movies, film featuring some decent performances from most, as well as some frank conversation about relationships, sex, cheating and Ed Burns’ awesome raspy voice! If you’ve seen any of Burns’ movies before, including THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, SHE’S THE ONE and NO LOOKING BACK, and enjoyed them, I don’t see why you wouldn’t particularly dislike this film. It’s well-written with some fun dialogue, it presents six different people, all of whom are struggling to make their relationships work (or happen in the first place), with just enough depth for you to invest an hour and forty minutes into them. It tries to mix and match its characters, with a married couple, a single working girl, a guy stuck between relationships, a divorcee and pretty much any relevant scenario, to which most people in the audience should be able to relate. I was pretty engaged throughout this entire movie, laughed a little here, remembered a similar incident from my own life there, and pretty much forgot about the whole thing as soon as I walked out of the theater. The only three things that really stuck out in my mind were 1) Heather Graham’s stilted acting (it’s sad to see someone this far along in their career who can still look like a first-year theatre student, acting with their hands and sticking out like a sore thumb) 2) Dennis Farina blowing everyone away in the few scenes in which he appeared (“Just spray some perfume on your balls…trust me…girls love that stuff!”) and 3) Stanley Tucci’s superlative performance as well as his hilarious obsessions with a “big cock” (I won’t say more than that here, but trust me…it’s very funny!-“Did you go to the movies and hold his big cock!”).

I also didn’t much care for the relationship chapter between Britanny Murphy (not particularly impressive here either-just giggly) and David Krumholtz, who just seemed like a nerdy, whiny, obsessively compulsive annoyance, who she somehow found to be “sweet” (I didn’t get that, but maybe it’s because I’m a man). But like I said earlier, the film was pretty interesting as a whole, reminded me a lot of Allen’s HUSBANDS & WIVES (a better film), which used pretty much the same hand-held techniques, the man behind the camera asking the questions, the different relationship stories interlapping, etc…, and I can certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a solid “date movie” or something to see when confused about the direction of the relationship in their own lives. One thing which I personally could not identify with was the fact that pretty much everybody in the movie seemed to be either cheating or being cheated on by their loved one, and I can’t say that this applies to my own life, or to the lives of many of the friends that I have around me, but then again, I guess I don’t live in a city with eight million people rubbing up against me every day. Either way, another solid relationship flick by Eddie “I’m Irish and I’m damn well gonna stuff it down your throat” Burns!

Just do us all a favor in your next film and try your utmost not to cast your “girlfriend du jour” as the lead since it’s becoming pretty obvious that your taste in their looks isn’t as reliable as your ability to recognize their acting talent (or lack thereof). Just some dinky advice from a regular JoBlo. Oh yeah, and one particularly ironic line of pre-9/11 dialogue retained in this film comes from Graham who accurately described the view of certain Americans before the national tragedy: “We live in such a cushy society. No threats, no real problems, so we obsess on silly little things.” Sigh…funny how the world can change so entirely, in so little time.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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