Wild At Heart (1990)
Genre: Crime Drama Romance Thriller Comedy
Starring: Nicholas Cage (Vampire's Kiss; Raising Arizona) Laura Dern (Jurassic Park; Blue Velvet)
Directed By: David Lynch (The Short Films Of David Lynch; Lost Highway)
Overview: Lula's mother doesn't approve of her relationship with Sailor and hires a hitman to kill him. The failed attempt ends in manslaughter, and after a short stint, Sailor finds his sweetheart ready and waiting. The two head off down the highway, with Lula's mother hot on the trail.
Acting: Say what you will about Nicholas Cage, I know he's not everyone's favorite, but in this he's just right, and the titles I selected above are pretty close to the 'creepy overzealous' that he does here too. Lynch directs these people in this way, melodramatic and just over-the-top without being... Actually it's way too much over-the-top! Look at this though: Crispin Glover, Isabella Rosselini, Willem Defoe, and a whole bunch more faces you'll recognize too. Great!
Cinematography: Imagine a scene with a robbery directed by a regular person. Maybe it goes right, maybe it goes wrong, but it's not all that... weird. Well David Lynch takes the robbery scene and runs with it like he's trying to pierce the veil to another dimension. I thought it was cinematic genius. There's examples like this throughout of the oddity that is Lynch, however it's not particularly visually explosive. The mood is more about the scene setting, the writing, the characters. It's nice to look at but it's no Lost Highway.
Script: "What do you faggots want?" - ass kicking ensues - "I'd like to apologize to you gentlemen for referring to you all as homosexuals. You taught me a valuable lesson."
The dialogue is often witty, sometimes wacky, occasionally creepy, but always 'off'. The magic that is Lynch is deeply rooted in his dialogue and you who liked Blue Velvet will say that that one is better in the creepy speech department, but there's no doubt that Lynch infuses a healthy dose of 'Huh?' in this one too.
Plot: There's some tributary moments to the Wizard of Oz here. The Wicked Witch, the red shoe heel-tapping, Toto, the crystal ball, even a munchkin-voiced man, but the story isn't much like the original Oz at all. It's really about a guy who loves Elvis and his woman who just keeps getting into trouble. No, no, nothing like True Romance... Honestly it's a little thin, sometimes slow and though entertaining to a Lynch fan, others might not suggest this as the introduction to this man's films.
Mood: Wow, talk about needing context. If you didn't know who David Lynch was, you'd think this was just out-there bad, and I mean BAD. The humour that underlies in this is indeed laughable, but knowing that it was all on purpose puts you in an interesting headspace. My girlfriend said things like "as if that would happen." I smiled and said, "It's David Lynch baby, it's David Lynch." Then I put on my snakeskin jacket (a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom), got in a Buick, and drove away, cause baby, I'm wild at heart too...
Overall Rating: 78% (Crazy Up'n Yo Spleen)
Aftertaste: Watching Lynch recently made me aware of the niche he's filled. Sadly there are very few, even according to him, who can make money from the Experimental Film genre. It makes me wonder how many other niches there are that have room in them. I mean think of all the dark corners and unexplored avenues yet to be tapped for originality and art? Oh, right, I've forgotten. People don't like art anymore...