Sidewalks of New York

Sidewalks of New York

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Edward Burns’s latest Woody Allen project, Sidewalks of New York (think “Sex and the City” meets Husbands and Wives for the Gen-X crowd), carries with it the weight of 9/11. With the World Trade Center’s specter as a backdrop, Burns delivers one of many face-to-camera diatribes while standing on a SoHo roof (possibly that of John F. Kennedy Jr.‘s loft, now owned by Burns—blink during one scene and you’ll even miss the flower vigils that once inundated the loft’s exterior). Tommy (Burns) has been ousted from his girlfriend’s apartment, rooming temporarily with foul-mouthed co-worker Carpo (Dennis Farina) while real-estate agent Annie (Heather Graham, Bruns’s ex-flame) tries to find him an apartment. You might be sucker-punched by the placement of the WTC when a cocky Tommy dubs bridge-and-tunnel folk the true owners of New York; for him, they have the luxury of appreciating the city from the outer boroughs. Far more chilling is Annie’s distaste for her cushy Upper East Side society (you know, the one with no problems). She may not care about how many orgasms Sarah Jessica Parker has had, though she secretly longs for sexual pleasure while contemplating New York’s ability to stick together during the bad times. That’s as far as the film’s frightening serendipity goes, which might be enough horror for those unmoved by the film’s oh-so-cute romantic entanglings. Divorced Maria (Rosario Dawson) meets Tommy at the local video store when they both fiend for a helping of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Crazy Brittany Murphy’s NYU gal rewrites downtown NYC-living by inexplicably affording a Washington Street apartment with a job at a dragless Stingy Lulu’s. She beds Annie’s dentist husband Griffin (Stanley Tucci) while entertaining the possibility of love with Maria’s doorman ex-husband, Ben (David Krumholtz). As reductive as it is comfortably airtight, Sidewalks is a lovely romantic scruple for those weary of the Woodster’s aging neuroses. As the gaps in Allen’s romantic pairings widen in proportion to his increased sexual voraciousness, Burns addresses less ghoulish and more pressing matters: gay-friendly guys not wanting to be taken for flamers, all hoping to “get some” while their scrotums still smell showery fresh. More importantly, can oral sex be considered sex? Discuss.

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DVD
Distributor
Paramount Classics
Runtime
107 min
Rating
R
Year
2001
Director
Edward Burns
Screenwriter
Edward Burns
Cast
Edward Burns, Rosario Dawson, Dennis Farina, Heather Graham, David Krumholtz, Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Michael Leydon Campbell, Nadia Dajani, Callie Thorne, Aida Turturro, Libby Langdon