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. M.