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Hungry Hearts (2003)
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by Chris Parry

"I haven't felt as teased since Samantha Lipman called me a poopyhead."
3 stars

Hungry Hearts is fun stuff, but something about it sticks in my craw. It's not quite as low quality as a TV movie, but it's a little too shiny and happy for a feature. Well performed, reasonably well written, and totally not of this universe from a realism perspective, this is a film that isn't so much memorable... it's just that it isn't bad enough to call unmemorable.

Four women meet in a stately mansion to take part in a big weekend of excessive eating and drinking. A studly young dude (S. Greg Gardner) is hired to provide top notch meals for a dozen or so potential 'restaurant investors' who are slated to appear, but over the course of the next few days he realizes that he's been duped - he's here for the amusement of these four giggling, largely drunk women, and beyond that they're hiding a dark secret about what their real intentions are...

Hungry Hearts is by no means a bad film. In fact, it's a fun little diversion, in the same way that a late night cable movie is a diversion, which isn't surprising being as the writers behind it, Glenn M. Benest and Timothy Wurtz, have a history of teleplays in their past - 80's teleplays at that. The film doesn't stock a life-changing meaning, nor does it feature the kind of breathtaking writing that forces you to contemplate what life is all about. What it is, essentially, is a tease.

I say this because teasing is the central element of the film. Not teasing as in 'you suck', but teasing as in 'I think I might give you oral sex... or I might just eat chocolate. Maybe I'll think about it for a while..."

All four female characters in the film - the artist (Pauley Perrette), the society belle (Suzanna Blakeley), the TV star (Marjorie Graue) and the chubby sarcastic gal (Kristen Shaw) - are good looking in their own way and exude a certain level of sexual presence whenever the male segment of the ensemble is near. Poor Chef Miles (Gardner) seems to spend a large part of the film either thinking he's about to get laid, or getting laid, while waiting for some kind of explanation as to what exactly these women want with him.

And the audience are right there with him.

Shot in one location, at a seemingly low budget, with a cast that knows their way around a camera but never seems to feel they have to stretch to sell their character, Hungry Hearts could be termed a success for what it attempted to be. As a slightly erotic TV movie, Hungry Hearts has a lot going for it, and if that was the intention then well done on all counts. But if there were aims for the film that ranked above the level of late night Cinemax, the writers need to go back to their laptops and put a little meaning in the meal.

If you'd like a look at Hungry Hearts, you need to get down to your local independent video store and ensure that they stock the Had To Be Made Film Festival DVD series (all good indie stores do!). This disc, number 4 in the first volume of the series, also contains the short films Outside The Window (directed by Allan Fiterman) and Hardcore Action News (directed by Niels Alpert). Of the two, Hardcore Action News looks far more impressive from a production standpoint, but Outside The Window is a far more meaningful piece. Other shorts in the Had To Be Made series have left more of an impression than these two, but as preludes to the main feature, you certainly can't complain about not getting value for your rental dollar. For more information, visit

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originally posted: 05/22/03 16:42:31
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: Had To Be Made Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Had To Be Made Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/17/08 Emily I think Pauley Perrette is the best 5 stars
3/30/08 Stacey Pauley Perrette is my favourite actress 4 stars
10/15/04 Matt I think this movie was a terrible way to waste time. A waste 1 stars
2/05/04 lucyhuck chris mixed up the 2 actresses--marjory grau and kristen shaw. kristen is the movie star 4 stars
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  01-Mar-2003 (NR)



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