Torture is the correct term for such a movie, one that spends two hours and twenty minutes evoking boredom, yawns, and snores from the audience. There is no kinder way to put it. However, I could be completely honest and say that this is perhaps the worst two and a half hours I have spent in a movie theatre all year... and I've seen a lot of really bad movies.
Random Hearts is the long, drawn out, unbearably slow story of Dutch Van Der Brock (Ford) and Kay Chandler (Thomas), an IAD Sergeant and a congresswoman. Both of their spouses are cheating on them when the adulterer's plane crashes in the Chesapeake Bay. This is twenty minutes into the movie. The next two hours are spent in the midst of a frizzled romance between the two.
Besides this, several subplots including Kay Chandler's running against a religious fanatic and Dutch's attempts to secure charges on a corrupt cop waste time during this film.
I try to be nice. I try to say a few good words about every movie, if only in the spirit of optimism. But Random Hearts does not lend itself to this chivalry. Instead, Random Hearts bores the audience. Here are some examples of how:
The entire movie is dialogue-based and the dialogue is terrible. The style lends itself towards a slow pace (slow conversation, slow plot, slow pans, slow transitions). Harrison Ford proves that he has lost whatever acting talent he ever had, and Kristin Scott Thomas has made a major fall from grace since her 1996 Oscar Nomination for The English Patient.
The flaw in this movie lies in so many places. In the acting it would be in providing a British actress with an American role. Kristin Scott Thomas handles the part so badly that she cannot even lose the accent, let alone adopt the body language of an American. She seems too reserved, too proper. Add to this Charles Dutton (normally an interesting character actor) in a bit part that just annoys, and you have what amounts to a terrible ensemble cast.
I cannot say something kind about this movie. There is nothing kind to say. What I can do is simply be nice enough to it to not go on... because I could sit here insulting this film for hours.
Thomas eulogizes her dead film.
Run time: 133 mins
In Theaters: Friday 8th October 1999
Box Office Worldwide: $74.6M
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Rastar Productions
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 74
IMDB: 5.0 / 10
Director: Sydney Pollack
Screenwriter: Kurt Luedtke
Starring: Harrison Ford as Dutch Van Den Broeck, Kristin Scott Thomas as Kay Chandler, Charles S. Dutton as Alcee, Bonnie Hunt as Wendy Judd, Dennis Haysbert as Detective George Beaufort, Sydney Pollack as Carl Broman, Kate Mara as Jessica Chandler, S. Epatha Merkerson as Nea, Richard Jenkins as Truman Trainor, Paul Guilfoyle as Dick Montoya, Peter Coyote as Cullen Chandler
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