A good romance will lift you and take you off on a narrative ride. These films are often formulaic—you know who is falling in love with whom and why. You know that the ending is weddings, babies, and life in holy monogamy forever. People turn to these films in times of high stress as comfort, for their familiarity. They let us get lost in someone else’s happily ever after, forgetting our own trouble. After months inside because of the pandemic, it was great to step out to see such a film. Two Hearts was a great choice as it offers an escape into its fairy tale stories and the beautiful scenery. The tropical views throughout the film are a breathtaking respite from my COVID shut-in environment. It made the mushy, gushy romance just that much easier to lean into.
Definitely a Saccharine Narrative
The story is definitely sweet enough to make a diabetic think twice about consuming. The story is about two young men. One is a Cuban heir to a rum dynasty, living in the 70s or 80s. The other is an American white guy in the 90s. The Cuban, Jorge (played by Spencer Borgeson as a young man and Adnan Canto as an adult), is athletic but has a condition that is treated in his boyhood with the removal of a quarter of his lung.
The American, Chris (Jacob Elodi), is healthy, happy, and living at home with his parents. He’s the youngest of three boys. There is no significant connection between these men as we see them start out in life. Well, they are both gorgeous. Jorge especially ages into a silver fox. That’s later.
When the two men fall in love, meeting the women of their dreams is accidental, but love at first sight moments that make romantic fantasy so great. Leslie, played by Radha Mitchell, is a PanAm stewardess (dating this movie more than the bellbottoms and hair flips). She meets this handsome man who has a panic attack as the plane is preparing for take-off. Leslie does not believe he is truly panicked, but she takes his hand and talks to him throughout the take-off and the rest of the flight. They become friends, and then she sees him at all of her tropical stops. Yes, this is stalkerish, but in Jorge is smooth enough to make it feel charming. Canto subtle expressions and smoke-show grin quickly win the audience over. Jorge and Leslie become a couple with a love to envy.
Meanwhile, Chris goes to college where he is not doing well. One day, he sees a girl who smites him in an episode that will be tough to live down. She notices him too and when they run into one another again, there is a spark. But, this is the 90s and Chris is not as suave as Jorge. It takes him a while to finally win her over. They have a close friendship and that “will they,” “won’t they” entanglement that we all hang off of when watching modern romances. Like Jorge and Leslie, Chris and Sam seem to be the real deal. This is the first two-thirds of the Two Hearts.
That Last Part Will Catch You
As I sit watching these two romances set up, I go through all of the ways that these two romance stories relate. I don’t get much time, however.
Between the budding relationships and the gorgeous cinematography, I didn’t get far in my assessments. Just when I thought the romance stories were getting too sappy, there is one hell of a twist that sends us wondering once again how the couples are related. We know early on that Chris is rushed to the hospital.
That moment comes after he meets and falls in love with Sam. She meets and gets to know his family and they discuss marriage. After the health scare, they go on to start a family, buy a home, and everything else that you expect in this sugary storyline. Meanwhile, Jorge and Leslie struggle to conceive and Jorge, lung problem takes up all their life energy. Just when we think that the stories are about to break free from one another forever, there is a snap back to focus.
All I’ll tell you about the rest is, bring tissues. Lots of them. You may be sharing,
The Perfect Date
I saw Two Hearts alone, in a theater with about 20 people in it. After working from home, eLearning with the kids, and keeping myself isolated because of COVID-19, it was wonderful to get lost in the story, the tropical views, and then the tragic ending. It was the perfect date for me. Two Hearts would be the perfect date for a couple looking to get out as well. That is if they like the romance genre. This film is not for romantic film haters. It takes full advantage of the devices and tropes that make romantic films work. Only fans of the genre will appreciate this and would love to spend nearly two hours in it. The stories of Jorge and Leslie, Chris, and Sam would be too much to take. For the rest of us, it’s the perfect escape.
2 Hearts in theaters everywhere.
Rating 4 of 5.
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