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Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, November 10, 1999


"Tempting Heart" was produced by People's Republic
of China, Hong Kong and Japan.

‘Heart’ finale
its best feature

By Burl Burlingame


This film is one of seven nominated for HIFF's Golden Maile Award for feature film.

HIFF There's a tempting idea at the heart of "Tempting Heart," but it goes askew almost right away, and doesn't fall into focus until near the end. It's as if the filmmakers started to make one kind of film, rethought the concept while it was underway, and then changed metaphor-boats in midstream.

The film is three-way produced by the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong and Japan. That might explain the messy and tamped-down plot threads. "Tempting Heart" is the story of a doomed romance between a pretty, vacant-headed schoolgirl and a sullen rock 'n' roll wannabe, and as the movie progresses -- and they grow up into comparatively healthy, happy adults -- it's apparent that the romance was doomed primarily because the screenplay said it was. Deus ex screenwriter.

There's another woman who's a third wheel in all senses of the term, who pops in simply to goose the action along.

The movie pops back and forth in time and place, from the sweethearts to an attractive older woman who's telling the story to a screenwriter. It doesn't take long to realize that it's her own story she's relating, but then late in the film we see the "real" people, and while they're presentable, they're not the dreamboats of the film romance. That's the fascinating idea -- that the concept and retelling of a romance is far more attractive to people than the real thing. It's like dissecting a film from the inside out.

Tech credits are adequate, ranging from a dreadful Santana guitar-solo ripoff to an absolutely fabulous effects shot, unfortunately, the very last shot in the movie. Stick around. "Heart" gets better as it goes on.

Bullet Tempting HeartSTAR STAR
Bullet Rated: No rating
Bullet Screens at: 6 p.m. today, Pearl Highlands

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