Sunday, July 14, 2013

Movie Review: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great story that pulls you into the movie
Cons: Predictable and possibly too sweet for some
The Bottom Line
Never taking no
And overcoming the odds
Inspiring film

Determination on Display

I remember seeing Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken back when it first came out in the early 90’s.  But since I recently learned it stars Gabrielle Anwar who I’ve been watching for years now as Fiona, Michael’s girlfriend on Burn Notice, I had to watch it again.  And I enjoyed it just as much as I remember enjoying it.

It’s 1932, and a recently orphaned Sonora (Gabrielle Anwar) is now living with her aunt in Georgia.  She’s a trouble maker, and when her aunt has had enough, she decides to have the state take care of her.

So Sonora runs away and joins a traveling circus act.  While she answers and ad to be "Doctor" Carver's (Cliff Robertson) new diving girl, she instead becomes a stable hand.  But she works with Doc's son Al (Michael Schoeffling) to break a wild horse and prove she can be the new diving girl, much to the dismay of egotistical Marie (Kathleen York), the current diving girl.  But what will happen when tragedy strikes?

This movie is based on a true story, which probably means they kept the names and one or two details the same.  Still, it is an inspiring story of a young woman who does not let obstacles stand in her way.  In fact, it’s easy to root for her to get a happy ever after ending.

Despite the G rating, there are some more serious moments to the film.  They are handled tastefully and artfully, so they shouldn’t be too upsetting to young kids.

The film is predictable, especially if you know the big twist to the story that happens about an hour into the film.  And no, I haven’t given it away above, but most of the promotion for the movie at the time did.  And, as others have pointed out, it is on the overly sweet and sentimental side of things.  Again, this is Disney in the early 90’s.  What were you expecting?

And yet, I found myself drawn into the story.  I didn’t remember most of what happened exactly, so I was captivated again. Sonora’s spirit is amazing, and it’s very easy to use her as a guide into the film.  The rest of the characters grow on you as well.  Maybe not Marie, but she’s not supposed to.  There are some humorous moments that will make you chuckle if not laugh out loud.

The acting is amazing.  I kept watching Gabrielle for glimpses of Fiona, and occasionally I’d see a facial expression or gesture I knew, but for the most part this is a completely different character.  And the rest of the cast is great at letting you get lost in the story that is unfolding.

And so I recommend Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.  It’s still a charming movie that will keep you entertained for the hour and a half running time.

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