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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Dear Heart (1964)



Reviews and Comments

"That's a very stimulating piece of Americana."

This offbeat romantic comedy is, simply put, a beautiful film. Glenn Ford plays a man who's been flying high all his life and wants to settle down on the ground; to help do so, he gets engaged to "a tomato from Altuna," Pennsylvania, but it's not that simple. He sells greeting cards and spends his life in hotels. His path crosses time and again with one of the most enchanting characters I've seen in a movie, portrayed by Geraldine Page, before he finally meets her. She's an endearing woman, laid back in spite of the bustle about her, constanting making insightful observations about life to people who don't care, fascinated by people, acquainted with several, but alone nevertheless. She's not out of touch; everyone else is simply out of touch with her. The supporting characters deftly avoid stereotypes; even the "other woman" manages to escape the conventional cliches that accompany the type. And Henry Mancini's soothing musical score is every bit as moving as the characters.

"I think that if you take anything that seems to happen on purpose, you'll find it's made up of a lot of coincidences."

The film's primary source of its charm, aside from the character portraits, is its stunningly intelligent dialogue. The lines aren't snappy or overdone, written for the express purpose of showing off writing talent, by any means. Yet every word shimmers with quality, characterizing their speakers more profoundly than lesser films manage throughout their full running time. It's also the source of many moments of unbridled hysteria. This is an extremely funny film, a thinking person's comedy, often subtle, and supremely satisfying.

"This is you, Harry. This fraternity ring -- fun and games, on the loose." / "And look what happens when you turn it around. It becomes a wedding band. It's the same ring. Feels fine."