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"The heart's on ice. We have to place it immediately. Forget the highest score -- who's local?"

Heartless video cover
1997
Genre: Telemovie
IMDB entry

TAGLINE: What price would you pay for a new heart?

STARS: Madchen Amick, Tom Schanley, Louise Fletcher, Pamela Bellwood, David Packer, Bo Svenson

THINK: Single White Female meets Untamed Heart


PREDICTABILITY: 9/10
PLAUSIBILITY: 1.5/10
PERFORMANCE: 4/10
PATHETICNESS: 8/10

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Heartless

THE BOX SAYS: Los Angeles. Suzanne Hawks, a stunning, elegant and flamboyant heiress, opens the door to her luxury hotel room and is shot in the head. She is brain dead, but her heart still beats. Elsewhere, in a sleepy small town a young librarian, Anne O'Keefe, lies in bed waiting for a heart transplant. Suddenly the phone rings; there is a heart suitable for Anne in Los Angeles. The operation is a success but soon after, Anne's personality begins to change. She has recurring, erotic dreams of a lover she's never met. She becomes obsessed with finding out who this man is and the identity of the donor of her heart. She moves to Los Angeles and discovers the world of the dead socialite, Suzanne Hawks. The man of her dreams is the donor's husband. Anne begins to model herself on his dead wife. She dyes her hair, wears Suzanne's clothes and attempts to turn herself into the dead woman. Finally she realises that the man she's falling in leave with may have killed his ex-wife and she may be next. What price has she paid for her new heart?

YUPPY MANTALK SAYS: Well, OK, they don't actually tell you who the killer is in this plot summary (needless to say, it isn't the husband), but practically every other twist in the plot is right there on the box (along with the words 'Los Angeles', which seem to occur more often than would appear to be strictly necessary). Perhaps this is the next generation of video hiring; rather than renting the movie at all, we simply read the covers and then pay a fee.

Apart from some mildly raunchy sex (well, raunchy by DTV standards anyway, there's even the occasional nipple), this is an utterly predictable piece that wouldn't disgrace the 'Based On A True Story' section of your local video store -- except, of course, it isn't. There are no standout performances by the leads, but all the minor players appear to have been hired from Overacting Extras R Us (especially the hotel bellboy, he was so OTT we thought he was guilty). We also want to know why the librarian ever got involved with her smalltown policeman boyfriend in the first place, considering she couldn't shag him what with her weak heart and all.


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