Slow Dancing in the Big City has so much heart John Avildsen’s aorta is showing.

Barra Grant’s story is a simple boy meets girl tale, or in this case, dancer meets columnist. Anne Ditchburn, a lovely dancer and choreographer, meetsPaul Sorvino, the columnist.

Sorvino seems to do a good job in any picture under any conditions and he’s just terrific here. Ditchburn is promising, but the post-production looping is downright dreadful and interferes not just with her performance but with the flow of the film.

A number of dancing scenes featuring Ditchburn – performances, rehearsals and a solo on the roof of a Manhattan apartment – are among the production’s high points.

The film has two plots moving along side by side although the focus clearly is on the Ditchburn-Sorvino relationship. The second genuinely touching plot concerns a young ghetto kid Sorvino is writing about and his struggle to overcome the harsh city.

What’s a shame about Slow Dancing is that somewhere on the cutting room floor probably is a fine film.

Slow Dancing in the Big City

  • Production: United Artists. Director John G. Avildsen; Producer Michael Levee, John G. Avildsen; Screenplay Barra Grant; Camera Ralf Bode; Editor John G. Avildsen; Music Bill Conti; Art Director Henry Shrady
  • Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1978. Running time: 101 MIN.
  • With: Paul Sorvino Anne Ditchburn Nicolas Coster Anita Dangler Hector Jaime Mercado Thaao Penghlis
  • Music By: