So, the reason why I haven’t been posting the last couple of days is because I’ve had some type of virus that has left me feverish and severely fatigued.
The upside of being in bed is that I’ve gotten to watch movies to pass the day and to escape from my current reality.
Today, tired of watching various current movies (thanks to my fabulous husband for keeping me stocked), I stumbled around on Netflix searching for something good to download. I looked up James L. Brooks, one of my all-time favorite screenwriters and was bummed that only one of his movies was available for instant streaming (will the movie Gods please do something to speed this process up???). Somehow, though, the Netflix interface offered me a choice of Listen to Your Heart. I love indie movies, and this one had four award symbols (turns out the film has won many more, but only three would fit!) on the cover, so I knew that was the one for me.
Oh my goodness, where to begin??? This little movie was full of heart and soul, and though it was really the best of the ‘good stuff’ it didn’t come across as super sappy or predictable. That’s quite the delicate balance to achieve!
Right off the bat I was drawn into the music. I loved hearing the piano and the guitar in the background. I felt comforted, and boy did that feel good. I’ve felt so crummy the last few days, I’ve shown up to Mark looking for a hug because there’s literally nothing to do with a virus but to pray it out and to let the body do its work. This movie was like watching and feeling a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Next, the chemistry between these actors is crazy. I really believed every single one of them. Even the simple, backdrop characters displayed a richness that you usually don’t see in movies these days. The lead male character, Danny Foster, is acted by Kent Moran. I felt so much through his character, and also in the lead female character, Alexia Rasmussen. These two reminded me of what was so special about The King’s Speech and how Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth could barely glance at each other leaving the audience with a knowing of what that glance meant. Of course, no movie would be complete without conflict and Cybil Shepherd delivers a heavy dose of controlling, mean-spirited mother. Oooh, from the first line you just don’t even like her!
Finally, the literary feel of this movie saved it from being a sappy do-gooder romance. Yes, the little symbols are in there. Yes, the foreshadowing is there. But, somehow, it doesn’t come off as trite. It’s a sweet ride that leaves you feeling grateful for the life you have to live and for the love you have to share.
If I had to choose a word for the movie, I would call it absolutely satisfying. I didn’t wish for anything to happen in any other way than the way it did. And, that’s rare for me since I am a writer and I have been a movie reviewer of sorts since I was in 8th grade (an award-winning reviewer, too, I might add)! I don’t watch movies like most folk do! LOL
Yesterday, I watched a documentary about screenwriters called Dreams on Spec. In it, Nora Ephron (another one of my all-time faves!) talked about who ‘writes’ a movie. She said that the screenwriter writes the story in words. The director of photography writes the story in pictures. The composer of the score writes the story in music. The actors tell the story of the characters through emotion. There literally are layers and layers of the story being woven together to make what we call a ‘movie.’
When I look at Listen to Your Heart, all of these layers come together in a way that is so right that it feels amazing. It reminds me of when you see a painting that takes your breath away. Maybe you don’t know why the artist used this color or that, but you just know you love it. I loved this movie, the actors, the score…really all of it.
After I watched it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I called a friend who reminded me of both the primary characters. Told her about it, but I still wondered…What else can I watch that has this guy in it? Or this girl in it?
That took me to Kent Moran’s website where I found out why I probably responded to this piece of art like I did. Turns out that Kent wrote the script, acted the lead male role, created the score, wrote the lyrics and songs for the movie, performed the songs for the movie and soundtrack. No, he didn’t direct it, but he did co-produce it, too!
I often write about artists and their ability to impact people by opening up their hearts and sharing their special brand of love with the world. The subtitle of the movie is One song can change your life. Indeed, one movie can do that, too. This movie does that, and Kent’s heart is written all over this movie. I hope you’ll get to share some time with him soon.
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