Lou Friedlander (Sorvino) enjoys a pleasant life as a minor New York celebrity thanks to his column featuring stories of everyday city people, but he’s bored in his casual relationship with a dowdy waitress. When he meets a dancer named Sarah (Anne Ditchburn), Lou becomes infatuated. Meanwhile, Lou writes stories about Marty (Hector Mercado), a preteen Latino who may be a musical prodigy but lives in a rough ghetto. Lou dumps the waitress so he can woo the years-younger Sarah, who subsequently experiences a serious medical crisis. And so it goes from there. Filmed in slick but uninspired fashion by John G. Avildsen, notching his first movie since winning an Oscar for Rocky (1976), Slow Dancing in the Big City has intermittent credibility. Since Ditchburn was a professional dancer, she’s impressive whenever she’s moving, less so whenever she’s acting. Yet Sorvino fits comfortably into his role, infusing an uncomplicated character with sweetness and warmth while avoiding mawkishness. The main problem, of course, is that it’s impossible to believe Sarah returns Lou’s affections, so the romantic stuff—which is the heart of the movie—rings false. Lesser problems include dreary pacing and a failure to flesh out supporting characters.
Slow Dancing in the Big City: FUNKY