The Heart of Me (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

A reluctant C- from both of us, the correct score mandated by our system, but two thumbs down for this handsomely appointed but unbearably boring chick-flick.

Scoop's notes


The Heart of Me scores far higher with women than with men, at a level approaching chick-flick status, and is rated highest by women over 45, so it's a granny flick. Going down one level farther in the chick-flick taxonomy, each of the sub-categories is separated into classical divisions, the most popular of which are romantic fluff pieces and weepfests.  Of course, each of the divisions consists of basic identifiable sub-divisions. The (nearly) complete taxonomy is shown in the comments on How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. The Heart of Me is a classic granny flick, weepfest division, unrevealed love sub-division.

A young upper-crust English swell is in love with one sister, married to another. This goes on for, I don't know, like a century or something. Maybe it was only a decade, but they had enough tears for a century, and it seemed like a century. Lots of stylish set design, sharp photography, elegant period costumes, and good performers.

But soap-opera levels of tedium.


DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, 1.85

  • full-length director and writer commentary


Helene Bonham Carter - breasts in perfect light

Olivia Williams - breasts in a darker sex scene.


Tuna's notes

The Heart of Me is a period soap set in the UK between WW I and WW 2. It is about the trials of being a stuffy-as-hell upper middle class Brit. The basic storyline centers around a wealthy young man married to a proper gentlewoman (Olivia Williams). They live in a proper flat, and have smart parties for their proper friends. When he isn't busy keeping up appearances with his wife, however, he is sport-humping her bohemian sister, played by Helena Bonham Carter. There could have been plenty of different dynamics to play with in this triangle, but they preferred to focus instead on who could keep the corn cob stuck up their arse the longest.

I listened to part of the commentary, and discovered that the director and writer both still had theirs firmly implanted.

Even a talented cast could not save this, given the pompous dialogue and stultifying direction.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Roger Ebert 3/4.

  • General UK consensus: two stars. Mail 6/10, Telegraph 6/10, Independent 2/10, Guardian 4/10, Times 4/10, Sun 6/10, Express 6/10, BBC 2/5

The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. Major market arthouse only. It grossed $196,000, never appearing in more than 11 theaters.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C- (both reviewers). Tuna says, "the only saving grace of this muck is breast exposure from both Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Williams."

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