The Eye web hits a high note with “A Song From the Heart,” a sweet and sensible telepic that boasts spirited enthusiasm and a genuine appreciation for music. Like the network’s “Touched by an Angel,” “Heart” is warm and fuzzy but also rises above the swell-the-score fluff that plagues most family-friendly fare. Singer Amy Grant — who doesn’t sing here — is solid as a woman who must choose between two men and two lives; her fans will cheer and so will viewers just looking for a peaceful Sunday night.
Grant is Maryann Lowery, a blind cellist who teaches at a conservatory and has settled into a comfortable routine. Her life is disrupted, however, when school alum Gregory Pavan (D.W. Moffett) comes back to town and moves in on her territory; a Yanni-like pianist, he has volunteered to record a new song with some of Maryann’s students.
Feeling invaded, Maryann detests Gregory’s cockiness and, likewise, he seems unimpressed with her talent. But he eventually softens up and Maryann realizes his attitude is just an act. They spend time together and develop a strong romance much to the dismay of Oliver Comstock (Keith Carradine), Maryann’s widowed neighbor who’s hiding a giant crush.
One day, Gregory convinces Maryann to undergo a sight-repairing surgery, but she’s scared to harbor any false hope. She agrees to the procedure, but, despite a promise to be there when the bandages are removed, Gregory can’t make it back on time since he’s on tour. So what’s she gonna do — stay with the hunky romantic who’s missing or nestle up to the caring guy right by her side?
Corniness aside, “Heart” is such an attractive package that auds will find it hard to resist director Marcus Cole’s schmaltzy techniques. While there is certainly nothing fresh about the narrative, the appetite for sap is satisfied and the innocent take on middle-aged love is charming. Of course, critics of “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and any other work that focuses on the power of positive thinking will probably change the channel.
Already having crossed over from Christian to pop success, Grant now gets a chance to play lead actress and she comes up a winner: Her emotions are well developed, her execution is endearing and the story benefits from her likable “way.” As for the dudes, Moffett is right on as the semi-selfish superstar who can’t grasp reality. The only weak link is Carradine, who’s a bit too bland as the silent suitor.
Tech credits are good, with some standout numbers from composers Patrick Williams and Arthur Polson, and a nicely framed feel from d.p. Attila Szalay.