Watch Slow Dancing in the Big City
- 1 hr 41 min
Slow Dancing in the Big City is a poignant romantic drama filmed in New York City and released in 1978. The film stars Paul Sorvino in the role of Lou Friedlander, a tough and cynical columnist for the fictitious New York Tribune. Alongside Sorvino, Anne Ditchburn plays the elegant blonde Paula McFadden, while Nicolas Coster plays the troubled Polish Ã©migrÃ©, George Petrone.
The movie opens with Lou writing a piece on the decline of New York City's taxi industry. One evening, Lou witnesses George struggling to hail a cab and offers him a ride instead. During the ride, they get into a minor accident, and Lou invites George to his apartment to clean up. There, George shares his heartrending story of how he came to New York as a child, carrying the weight of his family's struggles and losses.
Lou, impressed by George's tenacity and drive, writes up his story as a column and sparks a public relations wave that lands George a dream job as a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet Company. George, in turn, is grateful for Lou's unwavering support and invites him to attend his debut performance.
At the ballet, Lou is smitten with Paula, whom he spots in the audience. It is love at first sight for the grizzled journalist, but Paula is hesitant, having recently lost her husband tragically in a car accident. Lou, however, doesn't give up, and despite Paula's initially icy reception, the two eventually form a bond.
Over the course of the movie, the story jumps back and forth, intertwining Paula and Lou's relationship with George's struggles to maintain his rising fame. George must fend off the jealousies of his former teacher, who tries to sabotage his performance, and his own personal issues with his father. Despite these problems, George maintains his dedication to dance, striving to overcome his problems and gain recognition.
The movie's themes revolve around love, loss, and hope, as the characters endeavor to make sense of their lives in the city that never sleeps. Sorvino's portrayal of Lou captures the tough-talking newspaperman's grit, wry humor, and vulnerability. Ditchburn's delicate but steely demeanor as Paula captures the pain and complexities of a character trying to move on from a tragic loss.
Coster's portrayal of George, the fiery and complex dancer, captures the intricacy and nuance of his character. George's struggles with his Polish heritage and his father's strictness are compelling, but it is his love for dance that drives everything he does, adding another layer to the movie's overarching themes.
Apart from the three leads, the supporting cast also shines, providing a rich tapestry of characters, from Paula's psychiatrist to Lou's drinking buddies. Shot in the streets of New York City, the film brings alive the city's vitality and grit, enveloping the characters and their stories. Director John G. Avildsen's sensitive direction helps the audience connect to the themes of loss, hope, and redemption, elevating the film above its genre.
The movie's title derives from the slow dance that Lou and Paula share, which is a defining moment in the film, symbolizing their newfound connection. Slow Dancing in the Big City is a heartwarming and emotional story about finding love and meaning amid life's tumultuous journey. With its memorable performances, stunning dance sequences, and richly realized themes, Slow Dancing in the Big City is a must-see for fans of romance and drama alike.
Slow Dancing in the Big City is a 1978 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.4.