Sidewalks of New York (2001) Poster

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Smart, palatable social comedy of errors with flavorful New York backdrop.
gbrumburgh-130 November 2002
Similar, yet different, from his other films ("The Brother's McMullen" and `She's the One'), writer/director/producer/actor Edward Burns, with his typical minuscule budget, broaches on Woody Allen territory this time as he explores the ooohs, aaahs and owwwws (mostly the owwwws) of the marriage and dating game. The sights and sounds of New York is in the air as the movie zeroes in on six disparate Manhattanites, all of whom trying their damnest to find the no-real answer to happiness. No belly-laughs here, but a lot of knowing smiles.

This brash, perceptive, ultimately winning cyclical comedy first introduces us to good-looking, nice-guy Tommy (Ed Burns) who has just split up with his girlfriend and has been thrown out of her apartment. Tommy takes a sudden interest in evasive school teacher Maria (Rosario Dawson), whom he meets in a video store. Maria is divorced from small, tough-talking schlmiel Ben (David Krumholtz), a doorman and rock musician wannabe who cheated on her. Ben, still pining for Maria, finds a welcome distraction in edgy student/waitress Ashley (Brittany Murphy), who is having an affair with a much older and married dentist, Griffin (Stanley Tucci), whose suspecting wife Annie (Heather Graham), a real estate agent, has her eye on one of her customers, Tommy (back to Ed Burns again), who is (remember?) looking for a new pad since his girlfriend kicked him out. So much for the Kevin Bacon six degrees of separations and divorces angle.

To punch up the thought processes of our six relationship-minded specimens, Burns has given his film a documentary/reality TV feel. Each of our protagonists express their own individual and personal philosophies on the meaning of love and sex with a `man on the street' interviewer. These telling bits are conveniently spliced here and there into each of their ongoing stories, which are not only a biting commentary on the social scene, but often humorously contradict their actions and intent.

Burns, a native New Yorker, gives us a passionate, authentic, down-to-earth vision of his 'hood. No picaresque postcard images are to be found here. No tourist-like views of Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, etc. And just as dressed-down and down-to-earth is his solid ensemble cast. The stories are evenly laid out with no one performance getting short shrift. Burns, Dawson, Tucci, Murphy, Klumholtz, and Graham all have meaty roles here and each of their stories are well-presented and attention-grabbing. The philandering Tucci character, the least sympathetic of the bunch, still manages to drum up some pity, if not sympathy, for his subsequent actions. What's more, the outside circle, the peripheral friends/instigators/colleagues, etc., add immeasurably to the humor and atmosphere of the piece, particularly Aida Turturro as a worldly wise teacher/friend of Dawson's, Dennis Farina as Burns' overt male chauvinist boss, Michael Leydon Campbell in dual roles as a rocker and male half of a bickering married couple, and Callie Thorne as the bickering wife.

No one treats New York better than Woody Allen. With "Sidewalks of New York" Edward Burns pays tribute to this fair city, and he pays homage to Mr. Allen -- 1992's "Husbands and Wives" in particular. Notice Burns' analytical approach to his characters, the hand-held camera work and jump-cut style of editing (which is actually smoother and less jolting than in Allen's above-mentioned film), the pneumatic jazz score, the reflexive, conversational-like bantering between his characters, the episodic storylines, and, most importantly, the obvious devotion he has for NY. It all but spells out W-O-O-D-Y. But, in this case, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. He's learned well from the master.
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There are no cracks in these Sidewalks; this is a great film by Burns, who is totally overlooked as a film maker
inkblot1122 September 2007
Tommy (Edward Burns) is a television production man in Manhattan. His girlfriend has just given him the heave-ho from their joint apartment, stating she doesn't want kids and sees no future for them. Tommy is miffed because he gave up his own digs to move in with her, at her request. He temporarily bunks with his boss (Dennis Farina). The boss man is womanizer, boasting that he's slept with 500 women and left most of them "baying at the moon". Nevertheless, Tommy wants his own place so he gets in touch with NY realtor, Annie (Heather Graham). They begin at search for a suitable habitat, becoming friends in the process. Annie is married to a dentist named Griffin (Stanley Tucci). Annie wants children but, unknown to her, Griffin is having a fling with a 19 year old transplant from Iowa (Brittany Murphy) and he has been neglecting Annie in a big way. The young lady, Ashley, detests meeting Griffin in hotel rooms but has fallen for Griffin's lying promises. There is an attractive young doorman interested in her, too. Meanwhile, the doorman's beautiful ex-wife, Maria (Rosario Dawson) has met Tommy at the video store. Although she has dated no one since her stinging divorce, she begins a brief affair with Tommy. How will things shake down on the sidewalks of Manhattan? This is a great film and a tour de force for Burns, who wrote and directed it. Certainly, he is one gifted movie maker, as evidenced by his earlier films, including The Brothers McMullen and She's the One. In Sidewalks, he again probes relationships in the modern era, when sex can be around every corner and the more traditional marriage of an earlier age is absent. In doing so, Burns shows his brilliance for a balanced dissection, for he presents differing viewpoints in the course of the flick. All of the players here, from the scumbags Tucci and Farina, to the lovely Dawson to the very attractive Graham, Murphy, and Burns himself, are simply great. Add on a nice NYC setting, some terrific costumes and some great production values and you have a fine looking film as well. The story and direction are faultless, as Burns uses many interesting techniques to tell his tale, including testimonies and flashbacks. Watch out for a bit of rough language and sexual conversation, if that is important to you. However, there are truly no cracks in this Sidewalk, it is one wonderful film. Get your hands on a copy soon, very soon. And, here's hoping Burns will continue to make many more films.
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Well written and realistic
rosscinema28 October 2002
Edward Burns once again shows that he's an excellent writer and this is a pretty good film about the relationships of several people. Each character is well drawn out and the dialogue is especially good. Burns has the characters look into the camera and talk about what's going on with them and what they are feeling like its a documentary. I'm not a big fan of this technique but it does work okay here. Brittany Murphy is very good and shows a lot of natural charm and Rosario Dawson has an interesting role. The only part that doesn't quite ring true is Stanley Tucci as the cheating husband. Why would anyone cheat on Heather Graham? But for the most part its an extremely well written film and all the actors are very good. Nothing elaborate but very honest. You have to appreciate it for that.
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Real (maybe) but annoying
RNMorton22 May 2003
I tuned in towards the beginning, watched a few minutes and said "hey this is cool, it's like real life". That high didn't last all that long, despite the neat idea of showing overlapping romances. Here's some of the problems - 1) nobody in the movie is all that sympathetic; 2) the deliberately amateurish directorial style, which includes short video cuts in the middle of nearly every extended conversation(!?), is unique the first 2 or 3 times but gets really obnoxious; 3) the preoccupation with talking sex to the exclusion of nearly anything else also gets old pretty fast. Dawson and Murphy are both attractive and try hard, but this whole thing started to seem false and/or pointless pretty quick. I wanted to at least watch the whole thing through since I was writing this, but sorry I just couldn't make it; maybe it got better after I tuned out. 5 out of 10. As a post-script, I watched The Brothers McMullen (not knowing it was an Ed Burns movie) and the same damn thing happened - it seemed great at first and then it wore out real real quick on me. Maybe Ed Burns should make 15 minute slice-of-life relationship movies.
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A Depressing, Charmless exercise
hepcat702 December 2002
Heather Graham, in one of her better performances, and Dennis Farina as comedic relief, provide much of this film's minor merits.

Otherwise, it's a pretty cynical exercise, and the device of having the characters talk to an unseen interviewer is made doubly annoying by the fact that the characters' observations are banal and uninteresting (the device was used to great effect in a French movie A Pornographic Affair).

I found all the male characters to be thoroughly unsympathetic, ranging from pathetic (the doorman), totally lacking in introspection (Burns), and venal (Tucci). While I'm sure Burns would say the point was to show how screwed-up men can be, I don't think it does anybody any favours to repeatedly depict men stalking and showing up unannounced to exes and flames' apartments/houses. Reinforces that this is somewhat understandable and normal behaviour.

And, aside from the one couple (perhaps), these characters' dwellings are preposterous given their station in life, unless we're to believe they all have large trust funds.
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realistic, refreshing, and forgettable
FuriousRose3821 August 2004
Edward Burns is the kind of writer/director whose movies make you feel like you definitely could be one of the characters.

The feelings, insecurities, confidence, etc. of the characters you can see and make connections throughout the movie because of the way it was filmed, as if it were a documentary. It gave the audience a more unique perspective than most romantic films. There was much less of the "meant for each other" bull that you see in most romantic comedies. The characters were believable without tending towards cynical. The best facet of the movie is that it allows the audience to draw their own conclusions about love, sex, and these relationships without pushing too hard the director/writer's ideals.

A good film, refreshingly real, but without the big important moments (transformation, change, when characters learn something, etc.) it is ultimately forgettable. This movie doesn't teach an audience anything it doesn't already know, it simply confirms/denies our own viewpoints on relationships. Edward Burns seemingly takes a camera to real life people and shows the all encompassing exterior of their relationships with their lovers.
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On The Right Path to be One of the Best Films of the Year!
meeza24 December 2001
In a year that has brought much terror to this great city, it is good to see a film that celebrates love and single life in New York- `Sidewalks of New York'. This one is writer-director Edward Burns' new movie. Steady Eddie has done it again! `Sidewalks of New York' is one of the best films of the year! You should `park' yourself to your nearest `central' located theatre, and go see this gem! The film is centered around six characters who are in an 'empire state' of romantic delusion in New York. At various times, an unseen interviewer asks them questions about their romantic lives. This is very effective because it bring us closer to the characters and helps set the scenes with a more direct approach. `Sidewalks of New York' stars Heather Graham, David Krumholtz, Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Rosario Dawson, Dennis Farina, and Burns. I hope I am not being too `broad' and going out of my `way' when I say that their performances is the best ensemble acting I have seen in a film this year. The acting `queen' here though is Heather Graham. Her work as the romantic free-spirited wife reminded me much of the `Annie Hall' character from Woody Allen's great film of the same name. Also, I think the `stocks are rising' on the chances of Stanley Tucci getting a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. His performance as the cheating husband who is always in a `sexual new york state of mind' is one of the best of the year. However, the best part of the film is Burns' realistic-witty screenplay. It is about time that academy voters realize that Eddie Burns is one of the most talented screenwriters around. I guarantee you will love this New York film. So be a part of it and go see- `Sidewalks of New York' `Sidewalks of New York'. ***** Excellent
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New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!
jotix10011 December 2001
Edward Burns latest film shows us the inhabitants of the island of Manhattan in all their splendor. We know a lot of the people that inhabit this movie since, at one time, or another, we have known people just like these. The sidewalk interviews are a lot of fun to watch, as we're always guessing where they were shot. All the interviews pale in comparison with the one where the director, is photographed with the World Trade Center as a background in all its majesty and glory. Stanley Tucci keeps getting better all the time, being the actor, as he is seen here, or the director in his own film. His interpretation of the creepy dentist whose own masculinity is put into question by the same person he is trying to use and won't let go. Heather Graham plays against type and the result is excellent. Rosario Dawson was a revelation. Her character makes a painful and necessary decision, although, perhaps, we are not prepared for it, when she breaks away from a situation that will only bring her unhappiness, in the long run. Brittany Murphy keeps getting better all the time. She's a natural with a winning smile. The only trouble was that Dennis Farina's character doesn't have a bigger role to play.
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Sidewalks of Woody Allen (2001)
propaganda2121 February 2004
When actor/director Edward Burn's The Brothers McMullan was released back in 1995, the critics likened it to a Woody Allen comedy. Now it seems that Mr Burns has brazenly gone one step further and remade Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives (1992) with slight plot changes and a younger cast of characters and of course an alternate title. Somehow this rewrite fails to capture the zany spark of the original, which is an excellent movie (try watching both movies back to back). Perhaps the only noteworthy thing about this movie are the performances: Rosario Dawson is excellent as the teacher who gets pregnant after a one night stand. As a matter a fact, her performance is the only thing that redeems this movie, since all the other characters are caught up in full Woody Allen film mimicry mode, some perhaps unintentionally. It's a shame that Mr Burns didn't run with the pregnant-after-a-one-night-stand plot thread as he might have turned out a movie of more merit and certainly one of more originality. 4/10 for effort minus 2 for borrowing heavily from another director. Shame on you, Edward Burns!
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Burns needs to move on
JAM-3130 August 2002
"Sidewalks of New York" feels like a retread of Ed Burns' earlier works. Once again we have a bunch of intermingling couples who do nothing but talk talk talk and obsess about relationships and their personal insecurities with them. When I first saw "The Brothers McMullen," I was surprised at how drawn into the story I was. But this story (as was also the case with "She's the One") seems way too similar to "McMullen." Things that were forgivable in that film are growing tired and distractive: Everyone meets in a classical "cute" way from the golden era of cinema. Everyone coincidentally runs into each other at the most convenient moment. Most of the characters are forgettable, and their relationships are not very believable. The film isn't very funny, and most of the running jokes fail. The film also doesn't live up to its title in that New York is shot in a most un-passionate, unflattering way--this better not appear on any list about the best films depicting New York. Burns puts alot of trust into improvisation, apparently telling his actors to just "roll with it." But he seems to feel that realism and improvisation can substitute for substance, and this is not true--many actors rant on and blurt out lines that don't feel genuine, almost forced by improvisation, when Burns should have just shouted "cut" and done a retake. The phony "interview" moments when the fictional characters speak to the camera, react to something offscreen, or ask if they should "start over" come off equally unnatural. Performances are bland for the most part, save Dennis Farina. Heather Graham comes off particularly bad, at one point I even thought I caught her fighting a smile, ready to bust out laughing during a "serious" scene.

Once again, we have a self-hating, self obsessed older male jerk who has an affair behind his insecure wife's back, we have a young idealistic kid who romances a girl with immediate promises of love and marriage, and again we have Ed Burns meeting someone by fighting over a material object--in "McMullen" it was an apartment, in "Sidewalks," it is a copy of "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

It's not that I hate this movie, its just that I see a lack of passion in it. It is almost as if Ed Burns doesn't trust his ability to move on, and that leaves us with total mediocrity. Grade: C-
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Oh... My... God... No...
Steven Barker16 July 2002
Someone needs to tell Ed Burns that he should stick to what he does so well, playing disaffected young men. He should NEVER be allowed to helm another such self indulgent movie EVER AGAIN. What a waste of so many very, very talented actors, Burns included! This film wobbles from pseudo Alfie "to camera" monologues via badly improvised arguments and painfully drawn self analysis! This is just not the sort of film that it is possible to watch, without squirming in your seat. It is saved only by a touchingly gentle performance from Rosario Dawson, as a jilted wife who becomes pregnant during an in ill-advised liaison with Ed Burns character. If this were a report card it would say CHARACTERIZATION: Absent STORY: Must try harder DIRECTION: Would welcome some!
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endless supposed comedy is not a worthy tribute to New York.
mush-220 December 2001
Sidewalks of New York, is , as everyone has pointed out, an ersatz Woody Allenish comedy about a group of tangled relationships in New York. The only performances I enjoyed was Brittany Murphy whose wonderful guttural voice is always a joy to hear.The movie has the typical Ed Burns, slobby vulgarity(lots of talk about applying cologne to ones balls and not showering before dates..) Brothers McMullen had similar talk about defecating in front of other guys. The movie is murkily photographed with a jittery hand-held camera that succeeds in making New York look as jejune and unattractive as its characters. Most annoying was a long closeup of Mr.Burns hairy armpit. That shot seemed to go on forever! I guess if you are the star, writer and director no one is going to tell you where to put the camera and more importantly- that your characters bear little resemblance to actual flesh and blood New Yorkers. Disappointing.
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Woody Allen imitator
kolyanbogie15 August 2004
In the DVD commentary, Ed Burns says he wanted to make a movie that was "completely different." Who is he kidding? It's so close to Woody Allen that if it were released as a Woody Allen movie people would accept that Woody had made it. The mannerisms (e.g., people stammering and saying "you know" a lot, the jokes, the hand-held camera)... now don't get me wrong, it's done well, and beautifully filmed and acted ($1 million dollar budget, shot in 17 days? Hard to believe). I hope to see more of lovely Rosario Dawson - omigod, those lips! - and Brittany Murphy's star is rising as we speak. Stanley Tucci needs a toupe. He is an OK actor, nothing special, but I don't want to see this man's ugly bald head.
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Interesting, but fell a little short
Zalis18 March 2002
Like many other commentators here, I got that Woody Allen feeling while watching this movie. "Sidewalks of New York" had some likeable and some dislikeable elements. It did provide plenty of interesting commentary on the rather sad state of modern relationships, but at the same time, this relationship banter included a preponderance of sex talk, to the point where I wanted to yell at half the characters, "All right, we get it! Stop whining already." The acting was fairly good, even from Heather Graham, surprisingly enough. Brittany Murphy, as well. The "documentary" feel, despite jittery camera shots, gave the film a refreshingly different atmosphere, that saved it from descending even farther into the depths of melodrama. My final complaint is one that I have about a lot of movies, so it isn't entirely specific to this one: Why New York? Why is it always New York? Of course, I understand the budget concern here, but the story would have worked in any city of appreciable size. Let me say, I would lay down my money at a theater if I knew a movie was set in a place such as Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, or practically any city outside of L.A/S.F or the Boston-DC region. (For movies set in NYC, though, I liked "The Bone Collector" because it showed the seedy, older sides of the city, not just the glitzy Manhattan Skyline)
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Overlong but good romantic comedy-drama
preppy-327 December 2001
The lives and lovees of 6 New Yorkers by writer/director Edward Burns.

Heather Graham plays an unhappily married woman whose husband, Stanley Tucci, is cheating on her with Brittaney Murphy who is 20 years his junior. Meanwhile, David Krumholtz is attracted to Murphy but she can;t dump Tucci. Also Graham is attracted to Edward Burns but won't cheat on her husband. Burns is attracted to her and Rosario Dawson who is Krumholtz's ex-wife. Got all that? Trust plays out very well.

It's all talk about sex, love, sex, relationships, sex, marriage, sex...too much about sex, but it's all interesting and the characters are well-drawn and believable. The acting helps. Graham is just great; Tucci is so-so but OK; Murphy is interesting--she can be really good and really bad, but more good than bad; Burns is VERY handsome and appealing (if a bit whiny); Dawson is wonderful and Krumholtz is interesting. They all work well together (and separately) and really put the script across. Even when a really melodramatic whopper is thrown in towards the end, it works.

Only two complaints--it's too long (Tucci and Murphy complain about the same thing FIVE TIMES!!!) and it's all shot with a hand-held camera which is way too jittery and annoying--I realize Burns used it to keep down costs but still...

Absorbing and realistic...well worth catching.
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"I'm the biggest dog there is but even I don't mess around with married women. It's bad karma, kid."
cewasmuthiii16 February 2004
This is a very funny movie. The subject matter is near and dear to everyone's heart: Dating and relationships, marital or otherwise. The story centers around 6 main characters that are made to look like they're just regular people on the streets of New York. Each one is `interviewed' on the street about topics ranging from sex, dating and relationships. Then we see what each person's dating or marital life is like. Each of the 6 people's lives are intertwined somehow throughout the movie. A well done, well acted cross-section of the 6 people's love lives. Also, look for Dennis Farina's character. This guy had me rolling on the floor laughing; everything he said and did was funny to me. An enjoyable hour and a half. Highly recommended.
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Great cast in a New York ensemble romance
juneebuggy3 April 2015
This was okay, kinda interesting, I always like seeing Brittany Murphy and Stanley Tucci plays a good slim-bucket here. It's been shot documentary style, with a (relatively) low-budget so its grainy and jumpy at times, as a faux film crew follows and interviews six New Yorkers through the course of an average day.

They share stories of their sexual experiences and the rocky road of relationships in their quest for true love. Nothing spectacular here to mention as the story doesn't really go anywhere. Some decent comedy/drama, all the men come off badly and by the end everyone is connected.

I will say that all the characters are well developed, considering what this is, and I enjoyed the cast. Written and directed by Ed Burns, who apparently shot this in just 16 days, he plays a successful television producer who becomes infatuated with the recently divorced (Rosario Dawson). Her ex-husband wants her back but in the interim starts wooing (Brittany Murphy). She is (lovely) and having an affair with the ultra sleazy Stanley Tucci, who is married to Heather Graham. She plays a real estate agent with her eye on Edward Burns, which brings the circle to a close. 2/22/15
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I simply enjoyed the story
lrvand2 February 2015
With a brother who lives in Manhattan, there was a resonance to this story. All these people seem very real and their stories seem very possible. What more can you ask from a film? It all seemed to flow even tho man on the street interview should bring in a certain break from reality. For me, it did not.

This is a 14 year old film and few will be seeing it in the years ahead. They should as the stories are forever as long as our culture lasts. Sure there are a couple of story points that time has passed by but it did not have you sense it was out of touch with today's world.

Enjoy it.
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Not one of Burns's best
Dave-43015 October 2002
Edward Burns does Edward Burns so well, he should not try doing Woody Allen. This ranks with No Looking Back as Burns's least watchable films. Still, it is worth seeing. I would like to see him returning to the "brother theme" that made his two first films more sophisticated and more funny than the two that followed. Bring Mike McGlone back too. I give it a 6 out of 10.
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Interesting,absorbing character driven drama
davideo-22 June 2004
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

A documentary film-maker follows seven people who's love lives inadvertently interwine around each other around and asks them for their views on the matter as well as the complications and scenarios that can arise from it.There's Tommy (Edward Burns,also directing) a slickly dressed,distinctly New Yorkan movie producer who starts a relationship with school teacher Maria (Rosario Dawson) but ends up developing feelings for real estate seller Annie (Heather Graham).Annie is married to Griffin (Stanley Tucci) a dentist,who's cheating on her with Ashley (Brittany Murphy),a waitress at a cafe.Ashley starts getting hit on by parking valet Ben (David Krumholtz),Maria's ex.Over the course of the film,we see how the lives of these apparently different but under-lyingly connecting people pan out.

I'm not sure if this is his directorial debut or not,but if it is,Burns has hit a high note.Setting it in what must be his home city,his authentic New Yorker accent plays well against the backdrop of the film's setting.He also has some marvellous chemistry in the scenes with Dennis Farina in the supporting role as his father Carpo.All the characters are very well-written and very easy to connect with on a personal level with the documentary style one-to-one commentary each one of them is provided with,matched by strong performances from those playing them.The script is also strong and sparkling and provides much witty lines and good dialogue for the cast to work with.

Where the movie falters slightly is with the flow of the story,with not quite enough emotional and stable depth invested in to either the plot or the characters for the climax to have the full emotional impact that it could and should have had.

Overall though,Burns has taken a clever concept and made it work wonders.Highly recommended.****
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Really a likeable guy...
forecastmazy14 August 2003
Edward Burns is kind of like a younger, cooler, clever Woody Allen. Not so much going on satire and art, Edward Burns films are modern art commenting on the condition of dating, especially in NYC.

His films really are just best described as likeable films. I personally believe these films can be liked by everybody because their films that everybody, at some point, will relate to.

Sidwalks of New York was a film I was urging myself to see for a while. After seeing No Looking Back, another great Burns flick, I rented this film and found it charming, true, and honest. I like Edward Burns and personally think if this coast was as stoned as California is we'd be voting him into office right alongside a rapstar.
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Woody Allen has never been better
spectre316-120 July 2003
I think I might be one of the few here who actually has nothing negative to say about this "Husbands & Wives" rip-off. (Actually, that's my only quip -- too much like Allen's "Husbands & Wives." Nonetheless, "Husbands & Wives" is a very good film, so whatever.)

The documentary approach worked on many levels; the acting was very good; the story wasn't bad, either -- so good that I held interest for the entire time.

A very fine film, I must say. Burns is the new Allen! Rejoice!

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A real romantic comedy
mattymatt4ever29 August 2002
If you're tired of romantic comedies with happy endings where the two lovers walk off into the sunset, then "Sidewalks of New York" will be a relief. The characters are perfectly realistic, and so are their situations. There's no scenes where characters fall in love in 2 minutes and break up in 2 minutes. The dialogue is very interesting, but it's not flashy. They talk the way real people talk. The movie is a voyeuristic glimpse into the lives of these real New Yorkers (they're really actors, but they seem completely real). The humor is funny, but not forced. There's even a good deal of sex jokes, but they're all done in good taste. The acting is terrific. Rosario Dawson is beautiful. David Krumholtz is the most entertaining of the bunch. Dennis Farina provides great comic relief. Stanley Tucci delivers one of his best performances. And being that I'm an aspiring independent filmmaker, this movie really inspires me. I watch a lot of mainstream films, watch a certain scene or shot and say, "That's really cool!" Yet I think to myself, that's impossible to do on a low-budget. This movie was made on a very low budget and it's absolutely terrific! It's not one of these pretentious, "Blair Witch"-type projects where we're watching a big old mess, but we're supposed to give it acclaim because it costed below a million bucks. The only thing I have to criticize is the overuse of the jump-cuts. I have nothing against the jump-cut, but the jump-cuts in this film get a bit jarring at times. Much Kudos to Edward Burns for writing and directing this wonderful, inspiring little film.

My score: 9 (out of 10)
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Overdone to evoke the harsh concept of disconnectedness.
vanrosss11 May 2001
The situations are conspicuously overdone to drive the underlying story, but the side walk interviews do succeed in neutralizing this potentially myopic trap. Writer/Director Burns illustrates the concept of friendship separated form love which is separated from sex.

He shows how everything is incomplete and even hollow if those three critical elements of a relationship are way out of balance. A sufficient background is developed for the characters to understand their motivations and what led their lives to this point, but there is a reliance on the audience's own knowledge to complete the concept which may make this movie suit the 25 and over crowd.

The web of deceit is spun into a fable where the guilty learn their lessons as they cause the innocent fall from grace. The movie is nearly two hours long, and does feel a little slow, but Burns put in what needs to be there to make his view of neo-post-love sexual relations work.

Stanley Tucci had the busiest role as the two timing dentist with his affair on the side. Even his affair is knocked aside when it is inconvenient. Heather Graham finally gets to display her ability to act. She effectively takes her character through the biggest transformation in the story which could be an allegory for modern society's excuse for love. This will feel slow, but the purpose of that will become more apparent in the end.
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cramped,contrived,unnecessarily foulmouthed waste of time
gwilderrocks9 May 2001
And I really liked Brothers McMullen too! I was looking forward to another Ed Burns written project after seeing that film he was in with John bonJovi (forgot the title of that one), but this effort was way too bare of any believability. It came across as another neurotic, speedy, male-sided, foul-mouthed, sex crazed "relationship" fighting venue with no real felt treatment of emotion.

It was fodder for amateur acting. I felt like it was a rushed run-through. It reminded me of Woody Allen's latest weak effort "SmallTimeCrooks" with much less charisma.....too bad. But I still respect him (Burns) for trying. Oh well, maybe next time.
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