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"GRACE OF MY HEART"
(1996) (Ileana Douglas, John Turturro) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor Minor Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Heavy Mild Heavy Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A singer/songwriter makes her way through the music scene from the doowop 1950's to the psychedelic 1970's.
PLOT:
Edna Buxton (ILLEANA DOUGLAS) is an aspiring singer/songwriter who wins a local singing contest and recording contract. It takes her over a year and her meeting Joel Millner (JOHN TURTUROO), a small time label manager, however, before her career takes off. Joel renames her Denise Waverly and tells her that although he can't sell female singers at the moment, she can write songs for the male groups. She does so and becomes such a big hit that she then begins to pen songs for a girl trio, "The Luminares," fronted by Doris Shelley (Jennifer Leigh Warren) a friend of hers, and they become big stars. During her climb through the music industry she meets many interesting people. She marries and later divorces one of them, Howard Cazsatt (ERIC STOLTZ), after finding him in bed with another woman. She dislikes Millner's new writer and blond bombshell Cheryl Steed (PATSY KENSIT) at first, but later becomes good friends with her and they become writing partners. She also meets rock 'n roll surfer musician and music producer Jay Phillips (MATT DILLON), whom she falls in love with and marries. As things begin to fall apart in that relationship, she returns to what makes her the happiest: songwriting.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Probably not. There are no big stars and the subject won't interest most of them.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language, and for some sexuality and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ILLEANA DOUGLAS plays a woman who has goals, works to attain them and succeeds. For those concerned, she does have an abortion.
  • JOHN TURTUROO plays the record label manager who really cares for Edna/Denise and her career.
  • ERIC STOLTZ plays Edna's writing partner/lover who doesn't believe in marriage until he gets her pregnant. He also cheats on her and that's the last we see of him.
  • MATT DILLON plays Edna's later husband who uses drugs and ends up becoming paranoid of Edna and her devotion to him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    This is a fresh, enjoyable film that audiences will love. The cast is superb and the performances are great all around, but Douglas and Turturro stand out as they create unique, likeable characters. The soundtrack is a toe tapper and the story is good, although it begins to drag a little during the psychedelic surfer period. But that's just a minor complaint to a movie most adults and some older teens will really like. We give it a big 7 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There are a good number of things to be concerned with in this one, though with some discretion and explaining from parents, it shouldn't be a bad film for older teens if they're mature enough to handle the material and understand that it's referencing a different time when different standards were accepted. There's some drug use once the story enters the late 60's and early 70's. Nearly everyone smokes (it was more accepted than) and drinks. Edna has an abortion and there's a reference to another one. There's also a twelve-year-old girl who gets pregnant and has a baby. There's also a surprising amount of profanity for a film like this. As always read through every category listing before making up your mind as to whether this movie is appropriate or not for your kids.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Many different people (including Edna) occasionally drink beer or other alcohol throughout the movie.
  • A doctor asks Edna if Jay does any drugs. She tells him that he smokes "weed" (marijuana) and has down hallucinogens (mushrooms, etc...), but that he doesn't do "hard drugs."
  • Later this doctor lights up a joint, takes a hit and passes it on to Jay who smokes it.
  • Jay tells Edna they'll "smoke some grass and do 'it' until the sun comes up."
  • Jay smokes a joint out on a balcony.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • Edna's water breaks in the recording studio and the slightly bloody and watery mix is seen spilling onto the floor.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A man calls Edna "toots."
  • Edna finds Howard in bed with another woman (but nothing sexual is seen).
  • Edna (now single) starts seeing John, even though he's married.
  • Jay (in the process of going crazy) doesn't respect Edna's wish to begin writing songs again and hopes that she gets fired from her new job.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • A twelve-year-old girl gets pregnant by a sixteen-year-old boy.
  • Phrases: "Bastard," and "Schmuck."
  • There is a lot of smoking and some drug usage that kids may imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There's just a little suspenseful music as Jay walks out into the ocean and disappears in the waves.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A popular singer sings a song that hints at lesbianism, but only because we know she is a lesbian. It's a late 50's, early 60's song, so the only things of note are implied lyrics (that wouldn't be noticeable at all if you didn't know the singer was gay) of her love for another woman.
  • PROFANITY
  • 25 "f" words, 10 "s" words, 3 hells, 2 "ass" words, 1 damn, 1 crap and 5 uses of "Oh my God," 4 of "God damn," 3 each of "Jesus," "Oh God," and "For Christ's sake," and 2 uses each of "For God's sake," and "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Edna's mother tells her about her aunt "who got in the family way" (pregnant) and then had that taken care of (abortion).
  • Howard and Edna begin passionately kissing and he unzips her dress and she reaches to unhook her bra, but they fall to the floor and out of sight before we see anything else. Later they're seen in bed thus implying that they slept together.
  • Edna and Howard write a song about a twelve-year-old girl "who gets knocked up" by a sixteen-year-old boy (and this is based on someone she knows).
  • Edna tells Howard that she thinks she's pregnant and he replies "That can't be. I pulled out."
  • Edna prepares to use a diaphragm before she and Howard have sex (after they've just had a baby), but she accidentally flings it onto the ceiling where it sticks. Howard then crawls on top of her but the scene ends before anything else happens.
  • Edna and Cheryl pen a song for a popular singer whom they soon find out is a lesbian.
  • Edna finds Howard in bed with another woman (but nothing sexual is seen).
  • Edna and Jay are seen in bed (but nothing sexual is occurring).
  • Jay tells Edna they'll "smoke some grass and do 'it' until the sun comes up."
  • A woman seen at a commune walks around topless and her bare breasts are seen.
  • SMOKING
  • Edna and many other people smoke throughout the movie (set in the 60's and 70's when smoking was "in").
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Edna finds Howard in bed with another woman (but nothing sexual is seen) and she leaves and later they're divorced.
  • Edna must deal with Jay's unexpected death (by suicide -- he walks out into the ocean and then just disappears under the waves).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Edna's mother tells her about her aunt "who got in the family way" (pregnant) and then had that taken care of (abortion).
  • A twelve-year-old girl gets pregnant by a sixteen-year-old boy.
  • Edna is pregnant again and Cheryl gives her the name of a doctor who can "take care of that." Thus Edna has an abortion, but it's not seen.
  • Jay walks out into the ocean and just keeps walking until he disappears under the waves (and drowns).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Jay starts to lose his sanity. In one scene he tears up some cardboard tape boxes and one of them hits Edna in the face (an accident and she isn't hurt). Later it's seen that's he knocked over furniture in their home.
  • Edna hits Joel many times on his chest in frustration after Jay's death.



  • Reviewed September 12, 1996

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