Heartlands

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Michael Sheen as Colin
Mark Addy as Ron
Jim Carter as Geoff
Celia Imrie as Sonja
Ruth Jones as Mandy
Phillipa Peak as Sarah
Jane Robbins as Sandra
Paul Shane as Zippy
Mark Strong as Ian

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 91 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released in 2002.

Colin is a simple English man living an ordinary, boring life. His main obsession is playing in a darts tournament in Blackpool. However, his world is turned upside down when he discovers that his wife Sandra has been having an affair with his dart team partner (and local policeman) Geoff.

Initially Colin is devastated and heartbroken. But when Sandra leaves for the Blackpool dart tournament with Geoff, Colin becomes determined to win her back. Thus he embarks on a trip across England on his moped. Along the way he meets a colorful cast of characters that bring him out of his shell and he sees remarkable sights that he never knew existed. His mission to reclaim his wife soon becomes a voyage of self discovery.

“Heartlands” is rated PG-13 for a scene of sensuality and some language.

The Movie:
Heartlands is not a film I ever would have seen in theaters or rented at the video store. On the outside it had no appeal for me whatsoever. The only reason I watched it was so I could write this DVD review. However, after seeing it, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I found it to be a funny, quirky road trip picture featuring excellent music, beautiful cinematography, and impressive locations.

Michael Sheen is excellent as Colin. He plays the role with the right mixture of geekiness, wonder, sadness, and naiveté to make him appealing. Colin repeatedly tries to fit in with the groups he meets with mixed results. Whether it is bikers or Girl Scouts, he does his best connect with them. A running gag through the movie is his sad attempts to tell stories. This often leads to amusing awkward results. Another amusing character is Mark Addy as Ron, an obnoxious tavern owner. His rudeness and utter tackiness make him the source of a number of the laughs. Early in the film he tries to peddle terrible homemade beer with funny results. The rest of the cast is excellent, but these two guys really stand out.

The film is beautifully shot. Whether it is a blade of grass, a row of windmills, or a carnival boardwalk, they manage to make the English scenery look beautiful in the most unexpected ways. One great shot features an overhead look at a group of tents at night. The lights inside the tents make a memorable group of colors. It’s amazing to me that they could make something so ordinary appear so striking. The music in the film is also a good mix of pop music and folk music. It fits the feel of the film perfectly.

Overall, Heartlands was a pleasant surprise. If you like quirky comedies then I think you’ll enjoy Heartlands.

The Extras:
There are no extra features included on this DVD.

The Bottom Line:
If you like romantic comedies or quirky road trip pictures, then I think you’ll find Heartlands worth checking out.

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