Random Hearts - rated - TEPID

Guilty Pleasure

There was a really good film to be made from the premise of this film. Unfortunately this wasn't it.

What we have hear is a film that is set up well and starts out very promisingly, but fails to follow the most interesting threads. We have a man (Harrison Ford) and a woman (Kristin Scott-Thomas) who lose their spouses in the same plane crash. We see how they handle the grief of this sudden loss, and the shock of the revelation which follows. These scenes are intriguing because each has a different reaction and Ford's character wants to forces Scott-Thomas's to react the way he does. But Scott-Thomas's character is the strong one. She's a Republican politician with a spine of steel, and he's a cop who's a real softy. Again, intriguing. Together they find out that their spouses had bee living a lie, anf there's some really well-written dialogue which culminates in Ford asking Scott-Thomas: "What's the last thing you remember about your husband that you know was true?". A devastating thought! How much does anyone know about anyone? Even their own partner? Tremendous questions.

Instead, the film veers off into a coupke of sub-plots. One, about a crime Ford is trying to solve, is just an annoying distraction. The other, about Scott-Thomas' political future, is more promising. However, then the film ibegins following the romantic thread. And that would have been OK too, except that (WARNING, PLOT POINT ABOUT TO BE REVEALED - in my own subtle way, so read no further if that bothers you) the ending is one of the most anticlimactic I can remember. It's almost as if the writer, Kurt Luedtke and director, Sydney Pollack, made the film with a happy resolved ending and then went "Naaah, that's too predictable" and threw it away.

However, the performances are good. The director, Sydney Pollack, is excellent in a supporting role as a political spin-meister. For me, since Frantic (Polanski, 1988), Harrison Ford is forever the quintessential worried husband. And again he acquits himself well. He has the more emotional role of the two, but he keeps enough to himself to keep things interesting. His pairing with the always-interesting Kristin Scott-Thomas is a nice one, but somehow the sparks don't fly, and I don't think it was the fault of the actors. I think the way the characters are made to act doesn't ring true. In fact, I see Harrison Ford's character as the traditional female role and Kristin Scott-Thomas's as the male. That's an interesting enough idea right there, but again he film wastes it.

But the main idea of the film is well worth exploring, and there are some great shots of resorts in Miami which should be filed away by keen travellers for future holiday adventures.