Random Hearts (1999) / Drama-Mystery
MPAA Rated: R for brief violence, sexuality and language
Running Time: 133 min.
Cast: Harrison Ford, Kirsten Scott Thomas, Charles Dutton, Bonnie Hunt, Dennis Haysbert, Sydney Pollack, Richard Jenkins, Paul Guilfoyle, Susanna Thompson, Peter Coyote, Dylan Baker, Lynne Thigpen, Susan Floyd, Bill Cobbs
Small role: Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Aasif Mandvi, M. Emmett Walsh, Alex Trebek
Director: Sydney Pollack
Screenplay: Darryl Ponicsan, Kurt Luedtke (based on the novel by Warren Adler)
Review published July 26, 2000
A plane crashes on the way to Miami, killing everyone on board. The spouses of a DC Internal Affairs cop (Ford, Six Days Seven Nights) and a New Hampshire congresswoman (Thomas, The Horse Whisperer) are among the victims. It turns out that they were having an affair, and when the cop becomes obsessed with finding out the details of the relationship, he seeks out the congresswoman to find out some facts. During the course of their looking into the events of the affair, the two surviving spouses end up having an affair of their own. This causes severe conflicts not only in their personal lives, but also in their public ones.
Random Hearts has some quality moments, good acting, an excellent director (Pollack, Sabrina), and some profound screenwriting, but is a disappointment because it never achieves the level of its potential. At about 2 1/4 hours, the film is about a half hour too long, and unwisely the makers of the film think that some horrible subplots involving a crooked cop and a risky congressional campaign would provide the excitement and drama the film needed. The film is still recommended for some choice moments when the two leads are together and insightful observations, but some serious editing and reduction of plots could have given the film a little more 'heart' and be a little less 'random'.
©2000 Vince Leo