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Lula's psychopathic mother goes crazy at the thought of Lula being with Sailor, who just got free from jail. Ignoring Sailor's probation, they set out for California. However their mother hires a killer to hunt down Sailor. Unaware of this, the two enjoy their journey and themselves being together... until they witness a young woman dying after a car accident - a bad omen. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
A symbol of Lynch's individuality and personal freedom.
Wild at Heart is probably the most conventional David Lynch film I've seen. That being said, it still remains very far from mainstream. Wild at Heart revolved around a young couple, played to perfection by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Fast paced, mostly ridiculous, and pretty unrealistic, Wild at Heart is far from perfect, but a very fun film to watch.
The premise is strange, but intriguing. A young couple is separated when the guy, an Elvis fanatic named Sailor (Nicolas Cage), goes to prison for manslaughter after defending himself against a man who threatened him. When he gets out, he is desperate to get Lula (Laura Dern), the girl he loves, back again. Lula is more than willing to pick up the relationship, but if her mother has anything to do with it, she won't have a chance. Being young and in love, the girl rebels. However, her mother's desperation leads her to contact a hit-man she is in knows and the young couple is forced to run away. The two lovebirds head to California and encounter all sorts of crazy situations along the way.
Arguably the best thing about Wild at Heart is its great cast. Nicolas Cage is in his prime here and the role is, somewhat, reminiscent of the "repeat offender" he played in Raising Arizona. Nicolas Cage was great in his pre-action-hero movies. Laura Dern is equally excellent. I'd never understood the reason for her popularity in sexy roles. It's effective here, though, and she embodies sweet yet trashy Lula wonderfully. Supporting performances by Willem Defoe, Harry Dean Stanton, and Diane Ladd also provide liveliness that enhances the film.
Although it deals with such serious subjects as murder, incest, and general family dysfunction, Wild at Heart is anything but serious. The film is chocked full of amusing moments and over the top clichés. The best example of this is the presence of a rich, older crime boss with a penchant for having young preferably naked young girls surrounding him at all times he's present. There are a few moments when the style gets repetitive and the characters do something worthy of much eye-rolling. Despite that, this movie is never boring and fairly unpredictable.
Wild at Heart is a fun adventure to hitch a ride on. It is full of energy and snappy dialogue. Unlike most Lynch films, it is very linear and straight forward. The acting is excellent and the characters are strangely likable. Wild at Heart feels a little long and drags in a few places toward the end, but this barely hinders the film in its entirety. This is an amusing film, one that would make a good introduction to Lynch for those unfamiliar. For the rest of us, it's simply an enjoyable piece of film-making.
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