Sidewalks of New York

Bomb Rating: 

What in the world is the deal with New York movies? I mean, Ed Burns is a decent looking guy and he has the dating resume to prove it, but where the hell does he get this Woody Allen complex and assume that gorgeous women will willingly fling themselves at short, ugly, bald men whose diminutive johnsons are matched only by their incompetence in the sack? Man, too bad I'm not short and bald.

This is exactly what happens to Griffin (Stanley Tucci), who's a dentist, of all things. He's married to Annie (Heather Graham) and he's screwing Ashley (Brittany Murphy) on the side. In what universe is this kind of horrific copulation happening? Assuming that Annie ever agreed to go out with Griffin in the first place, wouldn't she question a long-term relationship once the bad lovin' and miniscule novelty penis were discovered? Ashley, meanwhile, is sleeping with Griffin despite his being twice her age. He gives her nothing but a bad poke, yet she keeps coming back for more.

What drives this improbable premise becomes clear when you consider that the film is directed by a man, Edward Burns. This film represents not the actual state of women's bad decision-making, but Burns's own low opinion of women. Why else portray them in this purely insulting way? Oh sure, Griffin is a complete cad, but if a woman can't see that the second she meets him, why she deserves whatever she gets.

This film uses an interviewing style that reminded me of "When Harry Met Sally." In this case, somebody is interviewing the film's characters and asking them about their sex lives. I suppose this is Burns's idea of innovative filmmaking, but it's really his way of passing the time as he cranks out yet another movie that just sort of goes in circles. Along the way we also meet Tommy (Edward Burns), Maria (Rosario Dawson) and Ben (David Krumholtz), who is trying to date Ashley. Ben is yet another painfully dopey young man that Ashley nonetheless finds attractive enough to sleep with.

As far as Burns is concerned, if you throw a smelly, homeless man with no teeth in front of a woman, she's likely to pounce on his greasy gonads. Dangle a moldy dildo on a string in front of a woman, and she will sleep with that. Maybe Burns should do a film where he sleeps with some really ugly women because he just can't get a beautiful woman to date him. Nah, guys apparently never have that problem.

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