Sidewalks of New York

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Written and directed by Ed Burns, also one of its stars, this mock documentary consists of random interviews with New Yorkers. Personal questions are asked about the number of affairs they have had, their first sexual experience and their current status. Nineteen-year-old Ashley (Brittany Murphy), a college student, admits to having about eight sexual partners since she was 15. Now she's the mistress of middle-aged Griffin (Stanley Tucci), a dentist who spends his lunch hour with her in a hotel room. TV producer Tommy (Burns) has been booted out of the apartment he's been sharing with his girlfriend and moves in with a co-worker (Dennis Farina), a middle-aged womanizer with lots of advice for lovelorn Tommy. Tommy enlists the aid of realtor Annie (Heather Graham) to find his own apartment, and she happens to be Griffin's wife. Strangers' lives cross paths, even intertwine in SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK. Those who empathize with lonely singles and loveless couples may find this somewhat bittersweet romantic comedy entertaining.

The best thing to be said about SIDEWALKS is that unfaithfulness, bed-hopping and spiritual voids generate realisitc unhappiness. The pursuit of sex, not love, consumes the lives of these characters. Griffin becomes obsessed with his physical sexual attributes when Ashley comments on those of a much younger man. He then badgers his wife to boost his sex-esteem, which leads her to suspect Griffin is having an affair. While Tommy is preparing for a date with a new woman, his Lothario roommate advises him to use cologne in the most personal part of his body. A lonely school teacher's one-night-stand rewards her with pregnancy and more solitude. Ashley constantly whines that Griffin won't be seen in public with her. But, he doesn't want to risk getting caught, not because he loves his wife, but because a second divorce will make him look like a loser. Arguing couples spout off obscenities, including 42 f-words, 11 s-words and many other crude references to sex and genitals. For no reason at all, one scene shows two lesbians passionately kissing in an elevator. Maybe next time Ed Burns will interview the genuine, caring New Yorkers we've seen in recent newscasts on the SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Paramount Classics, 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times Mild 5, moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (82) times - F-word 42, s-word 11, other 29

Profanity: Several (6) times Regular 5 (GD, C, J 3); Exclamatory 1

Violence: None

Sex: Once - obscured (unmarried couple in bed, no nudity), implied once (prostitute leaving man's apartment)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Continuous (characters describe their first sexual experience for interviewer, man obsesses about sexual attributes, references to self-gratification, man advised to get a

Drugs: Few times (social drinking)

Other: Promiscuous lifestyles treated as acceptable; negative aspects of one-night-stands portrayed; adultery treated comically and as justifiable in some cases

Running Time: 107 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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