Picks and Pans Review: Sidewalks of New York

updated 12/10/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/10/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

Edward Burns, Heather Graham, Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci

The events of Sept. 11 cause one to take a kinder view of this slight romantic comedy than might previously have been the case. The fact that the movie's Man-hattanites try so desperately to find love seems somehow courageous and life-affirming. Hence, Sidewalks of New York avoids a total Bronx cheer.

Director-writer-star Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen) tries to be Woody Allen here, something even the Woodman isn't doing too well of late. Burns has a half dozen lonely New Yorkers chasing sex and romance, each pausing to tell the camera (and us) what they really want. Of the ensemble cast, Tucci, Murphy and Rosario Dawson provide the sharpest performances. Graham, saddled with playing a character called Annie who even dresses like Annie Hall, mostly just sputters. (R)

Bottom Line: Keep on walking

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