|© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
2006 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
NEW YORK WAITING is a modern-day romance with something of
a twist. One year after a breakup, Sidney Anderson (Chris Stewart) sends
his ex-girlfriend a letter with a plane ticket to New York City. He suggests
meeting on the observation deck of the Empire State Building at sunset.
(It being summer, that means around 8pm.) Sidney flies from his Florida
home to Manhattan and spends two days, well, waiting.
At the same time, Amy Stewart (Annie Woods) arrives from
San Francisco to visit her long-distance boyfriend Michael (Don Wildman),
whom she suspects of cheating. Michael is clearly a people pleaser, but
he's also in Amy's words, "a player," that is a man who is sees more than
one woman at a time and tries to hide the fact. When another woman
appears at his apartment late in the evening and Amy answers it, she
makes a decision to leave the guy.
The next day, at a coffee shop in the West Village, Sidney and Amy
meet and begin talking. He explains why he is in the city and his planned
rendezvous, while she regales him with the story of her decision to leave
the cad she was seeing. Without having exchanged even the barest
personal details -- no names -- the pair end up spending the day together.
They walk to Central Park and talk and eventually eat. Amy, who
has booked a flight home for the next morning, needs a place to stay.
Sidney, gallant gentleman that he is, invites her to stay in his hotel room.
When Amy suggests that they have made some sort of a connection,
Sidney rebuffs her. He doesn't want a back-up plan if his ex-lover Coreen
(Katrina Nelson) doesn't show.
Interspersed with the relationship of Amy and Sidney are
black-and-white flashback sequences of Sidney and Coreen that are
meant to give the audience a little background. Sidney had left another
woman for Coreen and was pretty sure she was the one -- but she had
her doubts. She loved him -- as a best friend -- but not as a lover. The
audience doesn't exactly get enough background on the characters
to understand their relationship fully. Coreen apparently has issues, but
we don't come to know that much about them. We only hear that she has
met someone in California and that Sidney is paying for her trip there.
Stewart anchors the movie and manages to overcome the lapses in
the script to create a basically decent, romantic guy. Woods seemed a bit
wooden at the start, but eventually developed the character into a
three-dimensional figure, and the audience eventually roots for them to get
While not wholly successful, NEW YORK WAITING does have its
merits. The cinematography makes look Manhattan look gorgeous. The
leads deliver strong performances. It's worth checking out.