May 21, 2001

One of most romantic films ever.

It was on The Independent Film Channel the other night, and whenever it’s on TV, I just can’t resist watching it, even though I have it on tape. Like most films by David Lynch, Wild at Heart affects me so emotionally, that I almost cry. Cry like most women cry at the end of Beaches…which is not me at all.

Of course the fact that Wild at Heart is a homage to The Wizard of Oz is one of the reasons to love this film. I stand by my declaration that The Wizard of Oz was the first Road Trip film ever made, and all Road Trip films thereafter contain a small piece of Oz…but few films actually admit it. Whereas the through Oz was bright and colorful for Dorothy, Lula and Sailor’s trip was a desolate wasteland, ending up in Big Tuna, Texas, instead of the Emerald City. Lula’s mother, Marietta was the perfect Wicked Witch, ultimately melting into a glass of liquor. But I never can decide which one is Dorothy – is it Sailor, or is it Lula????

The music of Chris Isaak doesn’t hurt either. Wicked Game launched his career, and that is the first song by him many people, including me, had ever heard from him. I didn’t really like him at first, until one fateful night. April and I were pretty fucked up, we were in college at the time, and I think she had gone to the pool. I was sitting in my apartment, in the dark, watching MTV, and the video for Wicked Game came on. I was glued to the set and I think I started crying, I’m not sure. I just felt so empty, the relationship I had at the time wasn’t like that at all – oh it was wicked all right, not in a good way, I just wanted to be rolling around on a beach somewhere, wanted something in black in white, but I think I just went to the pool after that. Pretty soon after that, I “borrowed” the Chris Isaak tape from my shitty roommate and never returned it. I hadn’t even seen Wild at Heart yet, though I ended up seeing it a year or so later. Wild at Heart evokes the same emotion from me, longing for a relationship like that, so passionate and sexual, seeming to be the only important thing in the world. The difference between now and then is that watching it now, I realize that it’s not real and that no one has that, at least not for very long. I cried so much because I wanted to have that illusion, rolling around on a beach or dancing on the side of a Texas Highway, that I didn’t realize sex isn’t all there is to a relationship. Now when I watch it, I take it as I would pornography, even above that, because it makes me feel something inside that pornography fails to – a reason for it all, not just sex, not just the fantasy. Sometimes, I almost feel relieved when I go back to my normal, boring life now. Only sometimes, though.

Nicolas Cage sure was hot, when he had hair. And he does a decent Elvis Impression. Yes, that really is him singing throughout the film. Like all Lynch films, gotta go buy the soundtrack – Angelo Badlamenti.

So I’ve poured my heart out, probably sounding wild at heart and weird on top, but that, in and of itself, should be enough for you to take this film seriously as an alternative to Beaches and/or pornography.

Year – 1990
Rating – R
Runtime – 124 minutes
Genre – David Lynch
Director(s) – David Lynch
Writer(s) – Barry Gifford, David Lynch
Actor(s) – Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Diane Ladd, Crispin Glover
BOB Rating – Four BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Uh oh. Baby, you'd better get me back to that hotel. You got me hotter than Georgia asphalt." - Lula (Laura Dern)