Lawless Heart (2001) from Tuna

Lawless Heart is one of those, "tell the story from several different perspectives" things.

What starts the players in motion is the intestate death of a gay restaurant owner. While he clearly would have willed everything to his long-time male lover, his entire estate is to revert to his sister. Sis and her husband are in serious debt and could use the money, but she is thinking of doing the fair thing and giving everything to the partner of the deceased, who had also been involved in the operation of the restaurant.

The dead man's brother and a long-absent childhood friend also arrive at the funeral to add to the confusion. The boyhood friend is broke, so the gay lover allows him to move in. This arrangement works until the long-lost friend throws a loud party, and the gay man wakes up with a woman (Sukie Smith) in his bed. The two men then vie for Sukie's affections. Yes, even the gay guy.


Sukie Smith shows a full frontal after a shower.

I can't really explain more than that because, unlike Roger Ebert, who said everything was perfectly clear at all times because of great performances, I was frequently confused. Like most of the paying public, I was less impressed than the critics. The story never drew me in, and I didn't really relate to any of the characters.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three stars or more. Ebert 3/4, BBC 5/5.

The People Vote ...

  • Minimal box office: $328,000


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C, but not one I will ever watch again.

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