Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sweet Hearts Dance

I usually enjoy the typical, feel-good chick flick, and since that's what Sweet Hearts Dance sounded like, I thought I'd check it out. However, this movie was not at all what I expected. It follows the story of two men who have been friends since high school; one has gotten married and has three kids, while the other has remained single, and become the principal of the town's high school. This movie has a pretty stellar cast also: Susan Sarandon, Jeff Daniels, Don Johnson, and Elizabeth Perkins. Daniels plays the single guy, Sam, and Johnson plays Wiley, the husband and father. Wiley's marriage begins to fall apart just as Sam finds love for the first time. And so the story begins....

As the movie progresses, Wiley becomes a real jerk: he moves out (into a trailer), leaving his kids and wife behind. He doesn't really make any effort to fix the marriage, and appears completly apathetic to the whole situation. His son refuses to talk to him and his friends all get mad at him. At his lowest point, he gets drunk on New Year's Eve, and sleeps with an old high school friend. His son finds out, and as you can guess, this only strains their relationship more.

While the story of the movie seemingly rests on the relationships between Wiley and his wife and Sam and his girlfriend, Sam and Wiley are consistently shown to have a stronger connection. They do more activities together, they talk more, and for men, they even share some of their feelings! Sam, Wiley, and Sandy (Wiley's wife) take a trip to the Caribbean at one point, and I found it apalling how much of the trip Wiley spends with Sam. Here is the perfect opportunity to try to mend things with his wife (he's in paradise, for crying out loud--what better place is there?) and instead, he's off sailing with his buddy Sam. What is wrong with this man? Well, eventually, he gives just a little effort, and Sandy is thrilled.

This movie is not awful, but I didn't think it was particularly great either. At times, it moves kind of slow. I often found myself asking "why are they including this scene? What is the purpose of it?" I did like the ending of the movie, though: the activity Wiley and Sandy are doing to rekindle their marriage is the same activity they did back in high school when they were just getting together. It is humorous, and also very cute. This movie is not worth the 9 bucks you would have paid to see it in the theater, but on a lazy Sunday afternoon, if you're bored, it's worth renting for 4 bucks.

Link for the trailer:

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