Lonely Hearts (2006)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres: Crime Thriller, Period Film, Police Detective Film, Thriller
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Todd Robinson Todd Robinson
John Travolta John Travolta
James Gandolfini James Gandolfini
Jared Leto Jared Leto
Salma Hayek Salma Hayek
Scott Caan Scott Caan

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: January 10, 2008
About 10-minutes into "Lonely Hearts", I knew I was going to hate it. I knew I was going to hate it for some of the same reasons I hated "The Black Dahlia". I just can't stand 1950's period pictures that go out of their way to look and sound period appropriate, when they're actually just copping to the image of the 1950's in the movies. I have spoken with people who lived the 1950's and very few people referred to women as 'dames'. Nothing seems more laughable to me than a high profile actor like John Travolta or James Gandolfini trying their best to use words and phrases that the screenwriter thinks makes the film more 1950's. Plus, "Lonely Hearts" is boring, features some truly bad performances and never really engages the audiences. It's just a mediocre picture.

Even though 2007 was a good year for Travolta with hits like "Wild Hogs" and "Hairspray", this film does not add prestige to his resume. Here, he stars as Detective Elmer Robinson who, after the suicide of his wife, puts all of his time and energy into catching the Lonely Hearts Killers, Ray Fernandez (Jared Leto) and Martha Beck (Salma Hayek). With his partner (James Gandolfini), the film chronicles their investigation that ultimately leads to the apprehension and execution of two of the most notorious serial killers in United States history. Now, all of that would be fine if the film weren't bogged down with ridiculous and utterly pointless side plots and character who comes and go like the 3:10 to Yuma. What in the hell was Laura Dern's point to this entire picture?

The production value is all right, I guess, but nothing to write home about. This film just looks and sounds fake. It doesn't feel authentic. Jared Leto is downright awful as Ray Fernandez, overacting like he thinks someone in the 1950's would? And him with a bald cap that looks like it came from the corner novelty shop. Salma Hayek can barely be understood -- her accent is in full swing and no one can keep up. James Gandolfini is doing the same thing he has always done and always will do -- except using more 1950's appropriate phrases. And, Travolta looks too grimacing and angry all the time to be affective. The best performance in the film comes from Scott Caan as the smart ass detective. He turns in his best performance to date. Too bad it's in a shitty movie.

This is just an unfortunate case of a film having all the right elements in place, but no soul. Nothing about this film feels like it has any energy or passion behind it. It's just a run of the mill film. At least De Palma was passionate about "The Black Dahlia", even though it was a turd to end all turds. At least he knew what he was going for. Maybe this is why "Lonely Hearts" went through so many release dates. I think the producers and distributor knew exactly why I figured out -- the cover is golden, but the insides are rotten and pretty uninteresting. 3/10.
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