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Random Hearts (1999)

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A police sergeant and a congresswoman both lose their spouses in a plane crash, and they soon discover that their spouses were having an affair with each other.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Warren Adler (novel), Darryl Ponicsan (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... Dutch Van Den Broeck
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Kay Chandler
Charles S. Dutton ... Alcee
Bonnie Hunt ... Wendy Judd
Dennis Haysbert ... Detective George Beaufort
Sydney Pollack ... Carl Broman
Richard Jenkins ... Truman Trainor
Paul Guilfoyle ... Dick Montoya
Susanna Thompson ... Peyton Van Den Broeck
Peter Coyote ... Cullen Chandler
Dylan Baker ... Richard Judd
Lynne Thigpen ... Phyllis Bonaparte
Susan Floyd ... Molly Roll
Bill Cobbs ... Marvin
Kate Mara ... Jessica Chandler
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Storyline

After the death of their loved ones in a tragic plane crash Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas find keys in their loved ones' possessions and realize that they were having an affair and must figure out all the details. Written by Andy Heitz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a perfect world, they never would have met. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ahava Mikreat See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$64,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,012,585, 10 October 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$31,054,924, 21 November 1999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$74,160,911
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the novel by Warren Adler, the film rights were obtained soon after the novel's release in 1984. However the film then languished in "development hell" for 15 years. In the 1980s, Dustin Hoffman was attached to star in the film but later withdrew as he did not like the earlier drafts of the script. By the 1990s, Kevin Costner was attached to star and James L. Brooks was attached to direct it, though this never came to fruition either. Eventually, Harrison Ford and Sydney Pollack showed interest in the project and it finally went into production. See more »

Goofs

Cullen and Peyton are said to be in seats 3 A and B, which are on the left side of the plane, but their bodies in the submerged airliner are securely buckled in seats on the right side of the aisle. See more »

Quotes

Kay Chandler: You're not a Democrat, are you?
Dutch Van Den Broeck: What if I am?
Kay Chandler: We talk, I give you books to read.
See more »

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: The Making of 'Random Hearts' (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Present
Written and Performed by Sunny Hilden
Courtesy of MasterSource
See more »

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User Reviews

Great performances and style, but the script can't focus worth anything. **1/2 out of ****
25 October 1999 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

RANDOM HEARTS (1999) **1/2

Starring: Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles Dutton, Bonnie Hunt, Peter Coyote, Dennis Haysbert and Sydney Pollack Director: Sydney Pollack 133 minutes Rated R (for small amounts of sexuality, violence, and language)

By Blake French:

Harrison Ford really is a good actor. It's just a shame that he has been given nothing but insufficient scripts lately. The same goes for Kristin Scott Thomas, but her last film, "The Horse Whisperer," was one of the best of last year. Then we have Charles Dutton, Bonnie Hunt, Dennis Haysbert, and Sydney Pollack--all potentially fine actors and actresses. Not surprisingly, the performances here are superb. Even though "Random Hearts" isn't necessarily bad, in the end it only proves that even these performances can't save this movie from defeat; it can't focus past the end of its nose.

"Random Hearts" opens with a great setup, in which two separate individuals meet after each of their spouses were killed in a tragic plane crash on their way to an exotic island carrying on an ongoing affair. Harrison Ford stars as Dutch Van Den Broeck, is a detective, or something or other--not that it really matters all that much. He is right in the middle of a big murder case when he meets Kay Chandler (Kristin Scott Thomas) and discovers the secret to his wife's death and dismay. Kay is a struggling but well-known candidate in the center of a heated election, campaigning against the scum of the earth. She and her teenage daughter are both in sorrow, but also in denial, regarding the loss of a member in their outwardly happy family.

Again, great setup. The film contains two different characters and two separate points of view. The movie then introduces the subject of Kay and Dutch's involvement's with each other: Dutch would give anything to have his many questions answered about the entanglement with his wife and Kay's husband. Why did they begin an affair? How long was it going on? Were there any other adulterers involved? How did they get away with this? At first Kay seems a bit repetitive, but it is not long before Kay and Dutch are sleeping with each other, as they seemingly discover it was destiny that allowed the two of them to collide.

Wait a minute! I though this movie was going to detail a tearful search for answers to questions about the affair, not about Dutch and Kay falling in love? Well, they do fall in love. The only thing keeping them from serious commitments is her job and his love for his late wife.

"Random Hearts" is very effective in its old fashioned style. At times the production is quite slow moving and when not, it keeps tedious material nearby. This is pretty tame content here, much milder than the usual Harrison Ford character. I'm quite surprised it got an R-rating, it seems notably PG-13 to me, but maybe teenagers and kids would get bored with the material. Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas both are blossoming with inspiring romantic chemistry. The love triangle of the marriages is a beautiful concept. I only wish we knew more about what was going on.

The main flaw here is not in character but structure. The first act is strong, but after that the film seems like a random collage of events, which may be related to each other, but certainly not woven together like they should have been. The ultimate failure is due to an overly confident beginning--then the writers do too much of a good thing: complicate things, but never introduce or conclude the subplots in an appropriate way. Lets see, besides the would-be mystery involving the affair, the plane crash, the romantic sparks between Kay and Dutch, this film is about: a top secret case which Dutch is in the middle investigating, the heated upcoming election of a candidate running for mayor, Dutch's stolen watch, the murder of a witness, the turmoil a mother and daughter go through when their father dies, best friend cheating on each other's spouses and always being there to save the day, a drive by shooting, the lack of humility, competition, reputation, identity...

Brought to you by Columbia Pictures.


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