Heartaches (1981)

“I’m pregnant, and I have to go to the city to have an abortion. It’s not my husband’s baby, and he doesn’t know!”

Heartaches Poster

Synopsis:
When Bonnie (Annie Potts) finds out she’s pregnant by someone other than her husband (Robert Carradine), she heads to the big city to have an abortion. Along the way, she meets an eccentric woman (Margot Kidder) named Rita, who quickly becomes a supportive friend.

Genres:

Review:
This disappointing Canadian “buddy flick” — starring Margot Kidder in a blonde fright wig and a ditzy young Annie Potts — starts off with an interesting premise, but quickly falls flat. Potts’s character is whiny and annoying, and her dilemma — while interesting — is quickly overshadowed by a lame subplot about Rita’s crush on an Italian named Marcello (Winston Rekert). We are meant to root for these ladies, but they’re simply not sympathetic: Potts cuckolded her unsuspecting husband, and Rita is downright obnoxious in her pursuit of an unavailable man. Peary probably lists Heartaches in the back of his book because of Kidder, whose performance he nominates as one of the best of the year in his Alternate Oscars (1991); but I don’t find it all that impressive. While Kidder has lots of energy, her character comes across as a cliche of working class eccentricity rather than someone we really care about.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Robert Carradine as Bonnie’s cuckolded husband
    Carradine

Must See?
No. This disappointing Canadian indie film is only must-see viewing for fans of Margot Kidder.

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One Response to “Heartaches (1981)”

  1. Not a must – in complete agreement with the assessment.

    This is the formula stuff of the Lifetime channel – as such, there’s nothing new here. The last 1/2-hour is particularly tough to get through.

    It’s shocking, actually, that Peary would call Kidder’s performance one of the best of the year! I mean…huh?!! But then, he’s given her so many raves one suspects he thinks Kidder beats Bette Davis or Streep!

    Potts, on the other hand, again reveals flat delivery, mostly with her unfortunate, fingernails-on-blackboard voice. This is a role she would basically reprise in Ken Russell’s ‘Crimes of Passion’. Or is she just always edging toward annoying?

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