After a round of gin martinis and morimoto oysters at P.J. Clarke’s, the Literary Man and the Verbal Vixen decided to open one of the four Netflix envelopes waiting for them back home. Heart and Souls, starring a young Robert Downey Junior and Elizabeth Shue, as well as Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Tom Sizemore, and Charles Grodin, filled the need for the weekly Wednesday night movie of the week. All things considered, Heart and Souls is a hit.
Was it literary? Well, it was definitely literary enough. The following things were definitely at play in this movie: good story-telling, great soundtrack, a casual disrespect for the physical laws of reality, compelling characters (seriously, all five principal characters were thoroughly drawn and entirely convincing, despite the improbable circumstances of their presence in the movie, namely, that the four non-RDJr adults are killed in a bus crash at exact same time that RDJr’s character is born). Once you get past the premise, which, you know, is unusually creative and improbable for Hollywood, this is truly an excellent movie.
All five main characters have some kind of unresolved issues in their lives. RDJr must help them resolve their issues before the end of the movie, and in doing so, he learns how to resolve his own inability to commit to the ever-salacious, marriagiable, Elizabeth Shue, a worthy literary lady if there was ever one. If you’re looking for a feel-good, early nineties Hollywood film, with a perfectly satisfying story-line, compelling characters (each of whom has an understandable narrative conflict, established, expanded upon, and resolved), this is a film for you. Literary? Yes, literary enough.