*** Official "SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Reuben, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Feb 12, 1998
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    Ed Burns ventures into Woody Allen territory and returns with a light, amusing comedy that's a pleasant entertainment, though nothing more.

    Sidewalks of New York follows a handful of New York characters as they travel the city in search of love and sex (not necessarily in that order). The characters' lives criss-cross, and their stories are punctuated by conversations with an unseen interviewer. While the themes and narrative techniques remind you of such Allen classics as Annie Hall, the humor is gentler and the characters aren't made fools of to the same degree. (The sole exception is Stanley Tucci's philandering dentist, who is in top contention with Steve Martin in Novocaine and the father in With a Friend Like Harry for the title of Dentist You'd Least Want to Be Treated By.)

    Burns plays a TV producer, who, like so many characters in New York comedies, is much too calm and has way too much free time to be successful in that job. Rosario Dawson is a teacher with whom he becomes involved, and she gives one of the standout performances of the film. Heather Graham is a realtor married to Tucci's dentist, and she's fine in the role, except that she's significantly younger than any New York realtor I've ever met. Brittany Murphy, who normaly drives me nuts, is nicely understated as the NYU student that Tucci is having an affair with, and David Krumholz manages not to be grating as the doorman/musician who has a crush on her. Special attention must be paid to Dennis Farina as Burns' father. According to an interview Burns gave the New York Times, Farina did all of his scenes in a day, and he steals every one of them.

    Sidewalks of New York is a recent film, but it feels like it came out of a time capsule, because the Manhattan it depicts doesn't exist anymore -- and not just because the twin towers of the World Trade Center feature prominently in the background of scene after scene (most of the locations are downtown). The attitudes and demeanor of the characters belong to a time before 9/11, and I was startled to find myself thinking that they all seemed a bit innocent. That's not meant as a criticism of the film; in some ways I think it enriches it.

  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Sidewalks of New York". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link.
  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Nov 5, 1998
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    All this film is lacking is Woody Allen. Seriously. It desperately needs him and his biting humor. Instead it plays nice, but with no edge, nothing exciting to keep my attention.
    Strangely everyone sees Krumholtz as the Woody stand-in. I guess because he is the nerdy, nice guy protaganist.
    To me it is much more Tucci. With his poor relationship skills and his rationalization of his bad behavior he is at times so close to being Woody that you suspect that's the direction he's been given. "act like allen". [​IMG] (of course it could even be that if you mixed Tucci with Krumholtz you would create a 2nd Allen)
    None of the performances are bad. In fact everyone does a nice job. It's just that the script lacks much punch. So it just plays along with nothing special to keep you interested and with a general outcome you could see coming miles away.
    Also, I would remove the "Harry Met Sally" interview process. It's clearly derivitive here in it's usage, and therefore out of place, disruptive of the narrative rather than helpful, and a tad boring.
    My girlfriend was LESS enthusiastic than I was, so it's not just a guy's perspective.
    Skip it and pop in Manhatten or something.
    OH, let me add that I agree. Farina steals every scene. He's the one guy giving any gusto to the film (not that you will like his character, but he sure is watchable)
  4. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Jan 17, 2001
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    John Steffens
    Sidewalks of New York
    I'll agree with Jason,
    This is a great movie about relationships, set around New York. Ed Burns script and dialogue is smart and sharp.
    His direction even resembles Woody Allen and his "Husbands & Wives". The documentary segements also have this 'perfect' moment about them. Burns even gives the movie perfect closure.(I liked thinking what the characters were going to do further, instead of being shown to much!)
    The movie had great performances, especially Stanley Tucci.
    I too felt the Mia vibe from Heather and the Woody thing from David.

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