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Overall Rating
2.27

Awesome: 1.56%
Worth A Look: 14.06%
Average: 29.69%
Pretty Bad: 18.75%
Total Crap35.94%

6 reviews, 28 user ratings


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Random Hearts
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by Rob Gonsalves

"One of the nails in the coffin of Harrison Ford's career."
1 stars

Slow-moving targets (and I do mean slow-moving) like 'Random Hearts' are almost too easy. C'mon, give it a break: It's about pain and loss, it tries to be a movie for grown-ups, it ... it ... No, I can't do it. It's a big unnecessary rectangle in the dark, that's what it is, and it takes up entirely too much of our time.

God help anyone who wanders into Random Hearts expecting a few laughs and a few tears: It's stubbornly unmoving (in all respects), and if it isn't art or entertainment, what is it?

What it's not is plausible drama. The premise is that the wife of our hero, Internal Affairs cop Dutch Van Den Broeck (Harrison Ford), and the husband of our heroine, politician Kay Chandler (Kristin Scott Thomas), were carrying on an affair. The cheating spouses were seated together on a plane that went down en route to Miami. So Dutch and Kay are drawn together by their mutual loss and feelings of betrayal; she wants to put the whole sad thing behind her and focus on her congressional race, while he wants to dig around and figure out why his wife was so inconsiderate as to cheat on him and then die before he could bust her for it. At least I think that's what his crusade is about.

At some point during the crucifyingly dull proceedings -- I guess it was during the extremely odd and passionless sex scene between Dutch and Kay in a parked car -- I began to amuse myself by thinking of Random Hearts as a somber mainstream version of David Cronenberg's Crash. Some of the themes are similar: Dutch and Kay share grief and sadness that nobody else understands, like the car-crash cultists in the Cronenberg film. Problem is, Crash was intentionally cold and unromantic, whereas this movie is supposed to be about how these two broken people warm to one another and put each other back together. And it doesn't work.

Who ever told Harrison Ford he was a romantic leading man? Women may find him sexy in a retro, manly, cowboy-carpenter kind of way, but he lacks the mischievous spark of a Mel Gibson or the self-deprecating boyishness Kevin Costner used to allow himself to show. Kay seems to fall for him because he's as glum and colorless as she is, and poor Kristin Scott Thomas, after this movie and The Horse Whisperer, is well on her way to becoming Hollywood's resident cold fish who needs a real man to loosen her up. Put this woman in a comedy again before it's too late.

The movie, directed at a crawl by Sydney Pollack (as if trying to duplicate the deadly pacing of his climactic scene with Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut), throws in a half dozen needless complications, not the least of which is a corrupt-cop subplot -- what is this, The Devil's Own 2? -- that could've shortened the film by a good half hour if taken out. Kay worries about the impact the affair -- both her husband's and the one she's having with Dutch -- might have on her campaign, while Dutch can't let go of the idea that his wife lied to him. Every so often they sit around together and occasionally manifest strange little things on their faces -- could those actually be smiles? In a movie as morose as this? Or maybe it's just gas. (Ford's performance here makes his burned-out cop in Blade Runner look like Ed Grimley.)

One neat way to do Random Hearts might have been as a dark comedy. Why not have Kay's husband be a worthless wimp dragging her campaign down, or why not make Dutch's wife a sharp-tongued bitch? Then they could actually be relieved that their cheating spouses went down in flames, so that they could get together and have some fun.

But fun is alien to this movie, and we don't even notice much affection between the respective couples when the cheating spouses are still alive. So we don't feel anything has been lost, except maybe 133 minutes of our lives.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1332&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/31/06 06:05:03
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User Comments

1/07/17 Cooper favorite movie ever. Totally the kind of movies i love. 5 stars
7/26/13 PAUL SHORTT DULL, LONG, FORCED ROMANCE, WITH DREADFUL DIALOGUE 1 stars
2/24/07 ScottHorrified ToKissFord! ZERO chemistry. Saw free on Comcast but still feel ripped off. 1 stars
1/24/07 Christopher I'm sorry, I really wanted this film to be good but it's not, really tried to like it. Bad. 3 stars
6/03/04 Angel A small movie about love, grief and comfort. Very sad. 4 stars
3/25/04 Slick I was looking for a sharp object to poke my eyes out with. This movie sucks. 1 stars
5/15/03 Zach Apathetic & lethargic are good words for this flick 2 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby A joyless, lethargic downer. Granitically acted by the two leads. 1 stars
2/19/03 Allen Ford's worst movie, including "Hanover Street" 1 stars
7/12/02 KMG Ford and S. Thomas playing THE SAME character they play in every movie of their's 3 stars
4/09/02 Jake Lame and slow while going nowhere. 1 stars
3/07/02 Jenny Tullwartz Never good sign when on-screen politician expects us to buy trashing of off-screen rival. 2 stars
7/09/01 Del It's ok for a little awhile, then gets boring 3 stars
6/06/01 Marja Good acting, but pointless story 2 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L One of the worst movies of all time... 1 stars
8/11/00 Tim Atwood Just about the most boring movie I've seen in the last decade. 2 stars
5/23/00 Monday Morning Starts well but gets numbingly slow and never recovers. 3 stars
4/28/00 Jed (2.5 out of 5 stars) Not as bad as what critics say but its only passable 2 stars
12/28/99 Marion I love this film 4 stars
12/14/99 WILBER ASSE ABSOLUTE GARBADGE 1 stars
11/30/99 jessica rose it was alright it could of been a bit more intreresting 3 stars
11/28/99 Joel Harwood What a anti climax it was a major bummer 3 stars
11/14/99 levon stasse AWFUL what more can you say absolutly Shit 1 stars
10/30/99 harry driver appalling sentimental schmaltz 1 stars
10/21/99 PhilmPhreak I am having trouble remembering this flick - and I saw it two days ago! 3 stars
10/11/99 Ben Ryan Total waste of time, wait til they pay YOU to watch it, then say HELL NO! 1 stars
10/10/99 Terry Tucker I was very disappointed with this movie. I expected much more form the cast and director. 2 stars
10/10/99 Mr Showbiz Ford and Scott-Thomas form an unlikely romantic bond in this moderately engaging drama. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Oct-1999

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Oct-1999 (MA)




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