17 August 2004 | hokeybutt
Too Much Brain... and Not Enough Heart
ONE FROM THE HEART (4 outta 5 stars)
Don't read too much into the 4 star rating I give this movie. It is NOT an easy movie to like... there is so much wrong with it (bland, dislikable lead characters, poor dialogue, over-stylized sets) but it means well... and there are also a lot of things that DO work (Tom Waits' music, the young and sexy Raul Julia and Nastassia Kinski, the airport scene). Frederic Forrest and Teri Garr play the two long-time partners... both kind of bored with the other and wishing for something new and exciting in their lives. Over the course of a day they break up, meet a fascinating new person, have a one-night-stand and then come to realize what they want most in life. Not much of a plot, is it? How much you like this movie will be pretty much determined by how much you like Tom Waits' music... which is heard throughout. He and Crystal Gayle sing slow, romantic ballads which give the movie the feel of a longggggggggg music video. (One the new DVD edition you can watch the movie listening to a "music only" track... and, honestly, it's probably better that way.) Forrest and Garr are kind of hard to accept as romantic leads... they both seem a little too bland and ordinary (which was the director's intention)... but also come across as too unlikable: Garr is a whiny shrew and Forrest is a macho jerk. Again, it was the director's intention that they be "real people" so he wanted to portray them with warts and all. Unfortunately he didn't seem to give audiences enough reason to *like* these people. If Raul Julia and Nastassia Kinski had been the main characters the movie may have been more successful. I think that main problem with this movie is that director Francis Ford Coppola put too much *thought* into what is supposed to be a movie heavy on *emotion*. It does seem a little cold and distancing at times... technically perfect... but not fully satisfying as a story. Still, I've seen it about ten times... and I don't think think Coppola has made a better movie *since*.