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"Grace Of My Heart" is similar to "Valley Of The Dolls" because the characters, in both films, are "loosely based" on actual people showing their rise & fall in show business. Illeana Douglas plays singer/songwriter Edna Buxton who becomes Denise Waverly. She's based on Carol Klein who became Carole King. A New Yorker who churned out hit after hit in the famous Brill Building. Where some of the action in "Grace Of My Heart" also takes place. John Turturro is based on record producer Phil Spector (complete with bad toupee & the wearing of sunglasses indoors). Matt Dillon fronts "The Riptides" (The Beach Boys). "The Luminaires" are based on girl groups like The Shirelles & The Chiffons. Bridget Fonda portrays "teenaged" angst-ridden, big-haired, bubblegum idol & lesbian Kelly Porter. There's no question that she's based on Lesley Gore. Interestingly, Lesley Gore wrote the tune Bridget lip synch's in the film, "My Secret Love" (which is a homage to Lesley's "You Don't Own Me"). The music in this movie is very good & has that 60's, 70's feel to it. I just wish the soundtrack album had included the tunes "Hey There" & "Grace Of My Heart" by Kristen Vigard who did the vocals for Illeana Douglas. If you like nostalgic movies about pop music like "The Idolmaker", "Grease", "That Thing You Do" & "Hairspray" you'll like this too.
First of all, this was NOT a "Carole King biopic." The character is called
Denise Waverly, NOT Carole King. The character was loosely based on Carole
King, just as other characters were LOOSELY based on people from the era.
Secondly, phony soundtrack? Ummmmmm . . .ok, wanna check out the composers on the soundtrack??
Finally, calling Ileanna Douglas a "dog" or "ugly" was perhaps the stupidest comment I have EVER seen on IMDB, and believe me, I've seen many stupid comments. Not only is she beautiful, she is also a wonderful actress who does an amazing job in this film. AND even if she was "ugly" (not my words), why should that hinder your enjoyment of the film? Give me a break.
If you don't like a film, at least do us all the favor of giving good reasons and at least ATTEMPT to make intelligent comments rather than the half-baked crap we see here.
This film was excellent. The soundtrack was amazing, the actors were even more amazing. 10/10
I was reminded of how really good this movie is today when I saw it on
T.V. (with commercials ugh) I've seen it a few times before and every
time I watch it, I bawl like a baby and I'm a guy. A really tough guy.
But this movie goes straight to my heart and puts a squeeze on it
through the wonderful music, the sweet nostalgia and what a cast!
Illeana Douglas is beautiful and she really plays her character with great talent. She's supported by a strong cast and how can you go wrong with Turturro playing Phil Specter? The first time I saw this there was something familiar about the music; the songs, like "God give me Strength". As much as I like Elvis Costello, that scene of Illeana performing it for Matt (Brian Wilson) Dillon was such a unique delivery of a pure and powerful vocal. I later found that the 'familiarity' is Burt Bacharach and the 'voice' is Kristin Vigard: Wow!
Back in those days there was such an explosion of music and creativity and Burt Bacharach was truly a pop force.
I loved the Brill Building scenes, especially when they were working on the songs. I thought the movie lost something when it moved west to California but was deeply moved by Douglas and Turturro 'having it out' at the empty poolside. The final song with the flashbacks and her crowning achievement of recording that "one great album" had me weeping again. I really like this movie so I ordered the DVD online.
I rented this movie a couple years ago because I like Illeana Douglas. I ended up buying 20 copies of it to give to friends as gifts for Christmas that year. The story is compelling, the cast is amazing...I can't believe more people don't know about this movie. The original music is great, too. The film moves seamlessly from the fifties through the seventies due in part to the talent of the actors, but also due to the impressive costume and makeup work and the wonderful original music written for each period. Y'know how people often say of good movies, "You'll laugh/You'll cry"? Well this is one of those.
Illeana Douglas portrays songwriter Densie Waverly in a film loosely based on Carole King. It is more like a sneak peek into the lives of the 60's pop composers at the famous Brill Building(Neil Diamond, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich). Most of the characters are based on real life rock and rollers. John Turturro plays a Phil Specter like producer named Joel, who discovers Denise. Matt Dillon does a pretty decent portrayal of a producer, not unlike Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Some parts are a bit too dramatic, but the songs in the movie--composed by the Brill writers make up for it. The highlight is Douglas's lip sync(sung by Kristen Vigard), written by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello. Good rock and roll movie. If you like this try: *La Bamba *That Thing You Do *The Rose
Grace Of My Heart is a great rock-n-roll movie. It is also a very good character based drama. The cast is very good with Illeana Douglas and John Turturro turning in great performances. The director, Allison Anders, has made a very tight and well constructed story. The music is great and I also enjoyed Matt Dillon's performance as a paranoid musical genius. This is a very good movie.
"Grace Of My Heart" is an excellent movie with many plot twists and a great storyline! Kudos to Allison Anders for another FANTASTIC story!! I have not seen anything from this multi-talented writer that I have been disappointed in yet! She always provides a unique point of view in her stories and deals with valid issues. A Great triumph! AWESOME music as well! An absolute 10 in my book! I would suggest this movie VERY highly! Congrats to Allison! Keep on writing!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The chronically under-appreciated Illeana Douglas gives a
characteristically glowing, winsome, totally spot-on performance as
aspiring singer/songwriter Denise Waverly, who during a very turbulent
and wildly eventful fifteen year time span goes from being a
frustrated, creatively stifled behind-the-scenes magic maker to
eventually acquiring the clout and courage to branch out on her own to
sing her own material in a strong, assertive, independent female voice.
Learning under the expert tutelage of cranky, eccentric, misanthropic
Brill Building impresario Joel Millner (a fabulously freaky John
Turturro) and enduring a steady succession of unsuccessful romantic
relationships with footloose, insecure, insensitive bohemian songwriter
Howard Castatt (a perfectly jerky Eric Stoltz), conventional married
disc jockey John Murray (a typically fine Bruce Davison), and
brilliantly innovative, but paranoid and temperamental surf-rock
composer Jay Phillips (a splendidly spaced-out Matt Dillon), the
extremely intelligent and resilient Denise uses her bittersweet life
experiences as prime fodder for her ever evolving and emotionally
Flavorfully documenting rock music's growth from effervescent girl group pop to trippy psychedelic experimentation to intensely personal singer/songwriter confessional tunes, Allison Anders' simply sensational feature, loosely based on the real-life exploits of Carole King (besides the obviously King-influenced Denise, most of the other characters are clearly composites of various actual rock people as well) and executive produced by Martin Scorsesse, crackles with all the joyous vibrancy and infectious exuberance of the marvelously dynamic and exciting music scene its set in. Anders' deft, assured direction and sharply perceptive script, both keenly tuned in to the mercurial zeitgeist of the 60's and the then burgeoning women's right movement, works as both invigorating rock music history and inspirational pro-feminist tract alike. The splendidly catchy and melodious Larry Klein-produced soundtrack, Jean Yves Escoffier's smooth, agile, gliding cinematography, a story which manages to be genuinely touching without ever lapsing into mawkishly contrived sentiment, an absorbing, minutely detailed backstage glimpse at the pop music songwriting and recording process, and the uniformly superlative acting -- Patsy Kensit as Denise's longtime songwriting partner and loyal gal pal Cheryl Steed, Bridget Fonda as awkward closeted lesbian pop singer Kelly Porter, and David Clennon as a flaky hippie shrink are especially terrific -- round out this positively radiant and utterly delightful gem.
As a former singer with a female group from the 70's, called "SOFTOUCH", I could really appreciate the movie, "Grace of My Heart". I thought the movie was very authentic in its presentation of the artists' struggles with becoming a "singer" in his or her own right, as well as a writer. It was not a popular position to be in in the 50's and 60's. I love Ms. Douglas. I thought she did an exceptional job with the material and the singing. John Tuturro was great as the manager and provided great comedic relief. Since his performance, I have gone out of my way to see everything he has performed in. He is an awesome actor! Most importantly, I enjoyed the music of Burt Bacharach. There is none other to compare. His songs are historic! My only concerns are these: 1) I would have appreciated the female vocalist, Kristin Vigard recording the hit "God Give Me Strength". I thought her voice was much more haunting and convincing. 2) Where can I purchase the Song Book for the sound track? I am now a teacher of middle school students in the arts program, and there are several clips from the movie that I have been able to show my students - and they love this movie! I cannot show the entire movie for the obvious sexual content however, they get a kick out of the music, storyline and the progress of the time including the wardrobe changes.
Just a reminder, folks, that not all movies are supposed to be, nor do they attempt to be, Oscar-contenders. Some films are merely entertaining. I enjoyed this film for exactly that reason -- ENTERTAINMENT. If a movie makes you laugh or cry, it has accomplished its mission. Great soundtrack too, by the way (which I bought). Oh, and a little note to those of you who are trying (in vain) to be the next Gene Shalit or Roger Ebert: Some of your "reviews" are exasperatingly immature, e.g., "she's ugly." Illeana Douglas is an excellent actress with a unique beauty. I'm guessing the "she's ugly" comments come from a big fan of Baywatch and Pamela Anderson? Since when do a person's physical looks have anything to do with their ability to act?
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