22 September 2007 | inkblot11
There are no cracks in these Sidewalks; this is a great film by Burns, who is totally overlooked as a film maker
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.