Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wild at Heart [USA, 1990]

Nine Things About the Movie Wild at Heart

1. David Lynch is my favorite director. “Wild at Heart” is my least favorite of his films. The movie is still good, but Lynch seems to be forcing things together that don’t really mesh..

2. This is a darkly comic, punk-rock riff on the American Dream. It is Lynch’s funniest film, and has the most quotable lines. Of course, funny is relative with Lynch.

3. The core plot is about Lula and Sailor, two young people in love who are on an “us against the world” road trip. Lula’s insane mother sends her boyfriend off to kill Sailor, and then a hitman off to kill her boyfriend.

4. There are many references to “The Wizard of Oz” throughout the movie, except the ruby slippers don’t work, and you can break down on the yellow brick road, so you have to wander off into the wild. Or small-town Texas.

5. Lula, played by Laura Dern, is the Dorothy character - if Dorothy was raped as a girl and turned into an oversexed chainsmoker that falls for bad boys. Dern’s real-life mother, Diane Lane, is the Wicked Witch character - if the Wicked Witch was a codependent alcoholic with rage issues.

6. Nicolas Cage plays Sailor, a thief and killer who has an Elvis obsession. And Willem Dafoe steals every scene he’s in as a creepy sleazoid. A lot of the rest of the cast comes from Lynch’s other projects, “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks”.

7. The movie is incredibly over the top. Everyone overacts their characters, but in such a specific way that it forms a complete tapestry.

8. There are plenty of Lynch’s trademark visual and verbal non-sequiturs that may or may not make sense, and that you may or may not like.

9. There are several awesome scenes in this movie, and it did win some awards. I really like it, but I can’t help feeling that it is missing some unnameable key ingredient that his other films have.