Sidewalks of New York
Sidewalks of New York is the sincerest form of Woody Allen flattery, boldly lifting situations, locations, and punch lines from Allen's classic romantic comedies of the '70s and '80s. Still, a reasonable script and game ensemble cast--especially David Krumholtz as a bashful young stalker, Rosario Dawson as a divorcée with a fear of commitment, and Stanley Tucci as the misogynist you love to hate--make Sidewalks a fun, sporadically perceptive diversion. The narrative is pure Hannah and Her Sisters: Everyone is romantically attached to the wrong person and talks about it at length before stumbling into the arms of another character. Sidewalks also shares some of the mild conceits that mar later Allen near-classics, such as Husbands and Wives: extraneous jump cuts, shaky handheld camera-work, and unjustified documentary-style interviews with the principal characters. Still, it's a genre Allen perfected, and writer/director/star Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, She's the One) proves himself an eager student, getting further props for demographically broadening Allen's vision of a self-obsessed cultural New York elite. The film arrives at unavoidable clichés as it tries to resolve the unanswerable mysteries of love and sex, but (even if this seems faint praise) it's a funnier, warmer movie than Allen's last two combined.