Review: ‘Untamed Heart’

Appealing lead performances elevate this modestly scaled romantic tearjerker, from a first script by Tom Sierchio. Marisa Tomei plays a Minneapolis waitress who is assaulted one night by two creeps from the local diner, only to be rescued by Christian Slater, an introverted, almost nonverbal busboy enamored of her.

Appealing lead performances elevate this modestly scaled romantic tearjerker, from a first script by Tom Sierchio. Marisa Tomei plays a Minneapolis waitress who is assaulted one night by two creeps from the local diner, only to be rescued by Christian Slater, an introverted, almost nonverbal busboy enamored of her.

An awkward and unlikely romance develops, Tomei slowly penetrating Slater’s protective shell, put up due to the orphaned youth’s congenital heart ailment, which has kept him at arm’s distance from people throughout his life. He also clings to a fairy tale about his heart coming from a baboon king after the death of his father (the pic’s working title was Baboon Heart).

The story sometimes seems like an excuse to get out the can opener and serve up the corn. But Sierchio’s script possesses some strong romantic flourishes and director Tony Bill takes advantage of them. The perfs prove so earnest the movie largely works on its own terms, particularly for those looking for a traditional ‘good cry.’

Untamed Heart

Production

M-G-M. Director Tony Bill; Producer Tony Bill, Helen Buck Bartlett; Screenplay Tom Sierchio; Camera Jost Vacano; Editor Mia Goldman; Music Cliff Eidelman; Art Director Steven Jordan

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Christian Slater Marisa Tomei Rosie Perez Kyle Secor Willie Garson

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