Sidewalks Of New York Review

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A cross-section of New Yorkers ponder the accident and adventure of sexual desire. Romantic idealist Tommy fancies a teacher (who’s being stalked by her ex) who falls for a student, who’s having an affair with dentist Griffin, whose well-bred wife, Annie,


Ed Burns’ fourth feature was already a long time coming thanks to his busy acting schedule. The further hold-up of its release after September 11 now gives it some unintended nostalgia, as flirtatious Manhattanites chat beneath the Twin Towers.

This is an energetic, Allenesque chronicle of an ensemble cracking wise while seeking love. Burns pays homage to La Ronde in his circular plot of emotional connections, and has characters vent their insights amusingly to camera, as in reality TV.

Wry and likeable, it’s an engaging battle of the sexes, in which the women are the more sympathetic. However, Burns’ well-intentioned Tommy — who is crashing at aging lecher Dennis Farina’s pad and receiving such dubious advice as squirting cologne on his balls (“Lets them know you care”) — is endearing in his optimistic uncertainty.

A sound date movie with a hopeful attitude and growing stylistic confidence from Burns. But this far into his career, he needs to get past the “young Woody Allen” niche and really make his mark.