UNTAMED HEART (1993) is a wonderful and truly magical film. It
has two extremely strong and compelling performances by the leads, and
is a film that makes you realize the joy of the human existence and
especially the rapture of love. Unless your taste run to believing the
Scrooge's of life, I find it hard to believe that you will not be as
charmed by this show as was I.
Christian Slater plays Adam in the best piece of acting is his
career. It is so imaginative and risk taking that I wish he had at
least gotten an Academy Award nomination for it. It is a brilliant
piece of acting. Adam is someone who is either very shy, has a low IQ,
or both. Then again, perhaps it all stems from his weak heart which he
believes he got in the jungle from a baboon king. He relates his story
in such a slow and serious way that you begin to think, well maybe.
Adam works as a busboy in a diner with waitresses Caroline (Marisa
Tomei) and Cindy (Rosie Perez). At first they think he is nuts and
stay away from him. Eventually Caroline becomes attracted to him, and
they have a beautiful romance. Their love making ranks among the
slowest, sweetest, and most natural I have ever seen on the screen.
The romance is more than just sex. It includes many magical gifts like
making Christmas trees that appear overnight in the Caroline's bedroom.
The direction by Tony Bill and the script by Tom Sierchio floats
on a cloud. The movie works in all dimensions, but the scenes between
Adam and Caroline are pure bliss. The cinematography by Jost Vacano
and the sets by Steven Jordan do a wonderful job of providing reverence
to lower class housing, jobs, and existence.
Other than watching the great and natural charisma between the two
leads, the delight in the show is the little surprises in the plot, and
there are many. The plot has several tragedies in it, and some may
object that it is too manipulative, but, I thought every moment of it
worked, right down to the ending.
UNTAMED HEART breezes through at only 1:38 thanks to beautiful and
seamless editing by Mia Goldman. The film is rated PG-13 for violence,
preliminary sex, and brief nudity. Since the little violence the film
has is realistic and a bit frightening, I would say the film would be
fine for any kid over say 10. I loved this movie and think you will
too so I give it a strong recommendation and award it *** 1/2.
Copyright © 1996 Steve Rhodes