2001 Running time: 108 Certificate: 15 Rating: 2

Synopsis

The love lives of six New Yorkers - Rosario Dawson, Heather Graham, David Krumholtz, Stanley Tucci, writer-director Edward Burns, and the late Brittany Murphy - become intertwined in this engaging romantic drama. Slick and superbly played.

Director

  • Edward Burns

Cast

  • Edward Burns

  • Rosario Dawson

  • Stanley Tucci

  • Heather Graham

  • Brittany Murphy

  • David Krumholtz

Review

An anonymous documentary filmmaker takes to the streets of New York where he asks intimate questions on the complexities of love, sex and fidelity.

To add to this sense of immediacy, jerky handheld camerawork and jump-cuts are deployed to draw the audience into the dramas of the six main characters.

Edward Burns - writer, director, producer and actor in the film - tracks the intertwining lives of these love-lorn city dwellers.

Looking for a new place to live, Tommy (Burns) meets real estate agent Annie (Graham), who happens to be (unhappily) married.

Husband Griffin (Tucci), is a smarmy dentist who every so often meets up for a quicky with Ashley (Murphy), a waitress young enough to be his daughter.

But it's not long before Ashley's affections are won over by Benjamin (Krumholtz), a recent divorcee who finds it hard to break off contact with his ex-wife, Maria (Dawson).

Tucci gives a fantastic performance as Griffin, an arrogant middle-aged man who fancies himself a seducer.

When he spots Ashley for the first time, he uses that very classic pick-up line: "Are you a model?"

Ben is a nice Jewish boy who works as a doorman but longs to be a rock star.

A little on the geeky side, he at first appears quite a desperate character as he stalks his ex-wife in an attempt to get back together with her.

One scene that raises a wry smile is when bellhop Ben (bedecked in dull tan uniform and green hooded parka) sobs hysterically while hailing cabs after he is dumped by the confused Ashley.

Burns' character Tommy is a decent, regular guy. Without the eccentricities of Ben or the obnoxious egotistical mannerisms of Griffin, he craves stability and even a family but is advised by his permatanned boss Carpo (Dennis Farina) to play the field.

Graham buries her eye candy roles of Lost in Space and From Hell to deliver a beautifully measured peformance as the long-suffering wife striking out while Tucci is superbly reptilian as the ageing lothario with all the warmth of a dentist's drill.

It may take a while to get rolling but this slick morality tale - despite a few romantic setbacks along the way - shows that it's possible for everyone to get the person (or fate) they deserve.

Burns shows the imperfections of relationships, the reality that people have affairs, get divorced and are not always happy...but can wind up fulfilled - even if it's been a bumpy road.

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