ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  david mirkin

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  biography

LENGTH  -  123 minutes

RELEASED  -  23 march 2001


OFFICIAL SITE  -  heartbreakers

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $40,000,000
heartbreakers - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from heartbreakers at

buy the dvd from heartbreakers at

about a mother and daughter con team.

the title of this film was changed back from heartbreakers to the breakers several times.


picture from heartbreakers

picture from heartbreakers

picture from heartbreakers


two out of four possible stars

Heartbreakers is a comedy in the truest sense of the word: it's main purpose is hilarity. Partially due to a better than average script and also due some good casting, this film doesn't strike one, right off the bat, as being more than an average comedy. But it's much funnier and better acted that the previews would allow you to believe. The script isn't genius, but it still has so much more going for it than most of the comedies out in release currently. The screenplay could even be considered predictable, but that comment shouldn't overshadow the jobs of a few great actors.

Though Jennifer Love Hewitt has starred in few lackluster dramatic projects in the past, her talent for comedy is evident with her performance in this movie. She has great comic timing and has a good rapport on screen with Sigourney Weaver, who plays Hewitt's mother. The two actually look like they could be mother and daughter and their exchanges in the film are very quick and nimble. Weaver has shown she's capable of giving a good comedic performance in several films, including Dave and both Ghostbusters films and she shows her talent here again playing Jennifer's scheming mother.

The outlandish clothing both Hewitt and Weaver wear is no barrier to their success, either. The short skirts and thick make-up might lower the I.Q.'s of other women, but both actress are able to play their roles with humor and intelligence. The script itself is not Shakespeare, but these actresses do their best to make it appear that this movie is much smarter than it really is. After all, the premise is quite simple and resembles any number of plots for both comedic and dramatic pieces, but it's the performances that allow the audience to forget this small fact.

The three main supporting roles in the film, played by Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, and Gene Hackman, who are all already known for cranking out fine dramatic performances, make for a very funny support group for the leading ladies in this film. Gene Hackman in particular, who has shown himself capable of such a range of emotions on screen in his career, makes his chain smoking tobacco millionaire so realistic that one wonders whether he actually has emphysema. His portrayal is just hilarious. As are all the comedic performances in this movie.

But even though there are quite a few laughs in this film, the funny parts are not so outlandish that they overshadow and dramatic appeal that comes from the story. The plot contains all the necessary serious, though not overly tearful scenes for the actors to deal with. There must be an inevitable reckoning for Hewitt and Weaver's characters to deal with, and they, along with the rest of the cast, pick up the dramatic feel of the piece very well. There is a good balance of the dramatic included in this film which, if anything serious had been left out of the film, could have made for a more one-sided experience. The film is a little more rounded and complete because of these few scenes of serious interaction between the characters.

There is only one drawback to this film, and in the scheme of things, a lot more could have been wrong with it. That deficiency is the length of the film. Since it is a comedy, it's hard to understand why the film needed to be over two hours. This failing could have been fatal to the film's success, if not for the abilities of all of the actors. But some of the scenes could have been trimmed or entirely deleted and the film would not have suffered plot-wise or in the comic sense. But given that this failing should only be a concern to those with tight schedules or impatient constitutions, the film is quite entertaining for nearly its entire running time.

Unfortunately, this film was marketed using the wrong elements of this film as bait to draw in moviegoers to the theater. The advertisers included as the tagline, "Caution: Dangerous Curves Ahead," making the appearances of the film's two leading ladies the most important part of the poster. And the trailer makes it appear as though the only comedy in the movie is due to the bodily machinations of the actors, when in reality much of the humor is verbal. But given that this mistake hurt only the trailer for the film, and not the finished product, it seems that only the box office for the movie will be hurt. As a whole, this film contains some ridiculous characters that are funny because of the abilities and chemistry between its talented cast.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs mgm 2001
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