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Saturday, June 18, 2016

One From The Heart (1982)

Set in Las Vegas, an unmarried couple (Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr) are about to celebrate their fifth anniversary together. But instead, they find their relationship unraveling and turn to other partners in the hope they can be rescued in the romantic sense. Like NEW YORK NEW YORK, this is another attempt at telling a love story with contemporary sensibilities against a stylized "Old Hollywood" studio backdrop. On a technical level, director Francis Ford Coppola and his production designer Dean Tavoularis have knocked it out of the ballpark. Filmed entirely on sound stages, Tavoularis and the art and set directors have created the city of Las Vegas and it looks straight out of an MGM musical. Vivid bright Technicolor hues, streets crowded with dancers, even a plane taking off but Coppola forgot a story to hang his visuals on. Scorsese's NEW YORK NEW YORK wasn't consistent in its visuals and stylization but at least it had a focused script. Not only does Coppola not have a script but his actors aren't good enough to compensate, they're pawns on Coppola's chess board. Forrest is a good actor but he lacks the kind of charm that an actor would need to pull something like this off. The movie teases us that it might turn into a full blown musical at any moment but outside of a tango between Garr and Raul Julia that gets you hoping, we get Nastassja Kinski singing off key and Kenny Ortega's sloppy choreography. There's a great song score by Tom Waits and sung by Waits and Crystal Gayle. With Harry Dean Stanton, Lainie Kazan, Rebecca De Mornay and Allen Garfield. 

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