Review: ‘Ruffian Hearts’

"Ruffian Hearts" is a wannabe apartment-building comedy that just about gets by on its wacky characters but lacks the zing to transcend its tube origins. Curio seekers may be drawn to this Glaswegian offbeater, but writer-director David Kane's telepic looks likely to knock on only a few fest doors at best.

“Ruffian Hearts” is a wannabe apartment-building comedy that just about gets by on its wacky characters but lacks the zing to transcend its tube origins. Curio seekers may be drawn to this Glaswegian offbeater, but writer-director David Kane’s telepic looks likely to knock on only a few fest doors at best.

Film rounds up a collection of oddball people and has fun shaking them around. There’s young Marie (Vicki Masson), who works in a club run by a flashy pseudo-Italian, Grazetti (Clive Russell); her mother, Beattie (Maureen Beattie), who owns a dog parlor; a morose guitarist, Mick (Ewen Bremner); and two art students (Peter Mullan, Paul Blair) who embark on some complicated liaisons with two babes (Bronagh Gallagher, Jenny McCrindle). Main plot drive is the fact that Grazetti turns out to be one Wilfred McNulty, lover of Beattie 30 years ago.

Kane’s script has its funny moments, and Beattie and Russell are good as the mature lovers, but as a whole the pic lacks both the pacing and concerted rhythm to bring off the kind of comedy it seems to be aiming for. Tech credits are standard, and the generally flat lighting is no help.

Ruffian Hearts

(BRITISH)

Production

A BBC Scotland production. (International sales: BBC, London.) Produced by Ian Madden. Executive producers, Andrea Calderwood, David M. Thompson. Directed, written by David Kane. Camera (color, Super-16mm), Barry McCann; editor, James Hamilton; music, Michael Marra; production design, Andy Harris; art direction, Lorna Stewart; costume designer, Kate Carin; sound, Phil Croal, Bronek Korda; assistant director, Eric Coulter. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival, Aug. 21, 1995. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

With: Maureen Beattie, Clive Russell, Vicki Masson, Ewen Bremner, Bronagh Gallagher, Paul Blair, Jenny McCrindle, Peter Mullan.
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