'New York is a people place... and ultimately, Slow Dancing in the Big City is a people movie'. The mawkishness of this snippet from the movie's PR belies a curiously offbeat film, in which sentimentality for once seems more deliberate than accidental, with Sorvino playing a chubby New York news columnist who, while simultaneously trying to rescue an eight-year-old Puerto Rican drug addict, falls in lurv with divine (but actually rather wooden) ballet dancer Anne Ditchburn, who is struggling against a physical affliction that will eventually put an end to her dancing. Avildsen's career has a certain wavering integrity to it (from Save the Tiger to Rocky) which mixes gently left-of-Hollywood-centre politics with an unfortunate degree of righteousness. Which is why this one is, in the end, a failure, with its socially conscientious plot too episodic, and its kids (as always) too cute by half. Audiences will simply go to town on the finale: the journalist's street waif hits a heroin overdose, and his beloved collapses, crippled for life, after a triumphant final performance.