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Teen Movie Critic - II

Random Hearts



Random Hearts
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I hate to say it, but Harrison Ford is finally starting to show his age. He just isn't Han Solo anymore (not that I liked Star Wars, but at least he was something to look at back then).

I suppose this has nothing to do with the technical merit of his latest film, Random Hearts, and I'm certainly not implying that his looks are his only good attributes as an actor. But it really does help a love scene when you've got a great looking hunk in it.

Perhaps Ford's apparent lack of youth in this movie has less to do with his age than with his character. Don't expect much of his trademark charm or handsome grin. Ford's character Dutch is a serious guy with serious problems and he is rigidly expressed as such.

Ford stars opposite Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays Congresswoman Kay Chandler. They meet because it becomes apparent that her husband was sleeping with Dutch's wife.

You have to feel sorry for the two unfaithful spouses, because they get caught in such an embarrassing way - while on a flight to a mutual vacation, their plane crashes into the ocean. Before long, the bodies and the truth both surface, to put it bluntly.

Ouch. What a sticky situation for everyone involved - but especially for Kay, who is naturally much in the public eye.

The interesting thing is that she and Dutch actually end up in a romance together, how's that for mixed up love affairs. It is hard to believe that this relationship, having sprung from such circumstances, could have any long term reach. You would expect that once they both get over the tragedy, they'll find no use for each other, and end up wishing they never got involved.

It doesn't quite turn out that way, although the end is rather ambiguous. The producers left it open-ended. (Having read the book, I knew how that ended, but so much was different in the movie that the producers might have meant for you to assume any one of a number of things.) If I hadn't read the book, I would have been even more upset about the lack of a firm, concise ending. Oh, they make some pretty obvious implications, but you don't really know for sure from the film's conclusion.

That reminds me of Thomas' last movie, The Horse Whisperer, which also had a rather vague ending. It didn't bother me as much at the time, because I hadn't read the book. After seeing the movie, however, I did read the book, and the ending was not at all what anyone would have expected from the movie.

As a viewer, I find this trend frustrating and a bit nagging - I wish they'd tell you exactly how everything turns out, period. I'm not saying that Hollywood should go back to predictable, stereotypical, they-fall-in-love-and-live-happily-ever-after endings - heaven forbid. An unhappy ending would be fine. But just make it clear!

Now after all the criticism and nitpicking, it may surprise you that I actually liked this movie. The characters were interesting, if not completely believable. Ford and Thomas, both skilled and accomplished actors were well cast in their roles. Perhaps Ford could have been a bit more like his Patriot Games and Air Force One characters - serious, but with the occasional dry humor remark for comic relief. But overall, I found Random Hearts enticing.

My Rating = Three Stars

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