This sentimental tearjerker is also a slice-of-New York-life melodrama directed by John G. Avildsen as his follow-up to the career-high smash success of Rocky
(1976). Paul Sorvino stars as Lou Friedlander, a Manhattan newspaper columnist who is instantly smitten by Sarah Gantz (Anne Ditchburn, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her debut performance). A ballerina who's just moved into Lou's apartment building after a breakup with her boyfriend, Sarah soon gets the news that she is terminally ill and should quit her strenuous dancing career. Despite the medical advice, she continues anyway, and Lou begins writing a piece for his employer about her valiant struggle. As he assembles the article, he and Sarah begin to fall in love. At the same time, Lou is also nurturing a story about an orphaned Hispanic kid who's a junkie but is managing to rise above the harshness of life on the city's ghetto streets. The Friedlander character was reportedly inspired by and loosely modeled upon writer Jimmy Breslin.