I do not know what took hold of me while I was watching this film but it was the first time in a very (VERY) long time that I had cried real, unforced tears during a screening. Usually I am able to distinguish between the line that divides reality and the film world, however something grabbed me by the collar and shoved me over this intangible border.
The 2010 film Listen to Your Heart written by and starring Kent Moran is not by any means a revelation in terms of narrative, setting, editing, and cinematography. For instance, Danny is a struggling musician in New York (how many times has this appeared on-screen?) who lives pay-check to pay-check as a waiter and is ruled by his eternally optimistic stance on love. Also, acting veteran Cybill Shepherd plays an overbearing and annoyingly strict mother of her daughter Adrianna/Sam (played by newcomer Alexia Rasmussen), trying to control her daughter’s every move, claiming she has the best intentions, when in reality she is manipulating her into feeling as though she cannot survive on her own. This relationship is the most frustrating part of the movie, but it provides a large part of the narratives conflict, as her selfish controlling desires tries come between her daughter’s relationship with Danny (Moran). There are many expected conflicts that occur, but it is the young actors performances that sell every cliché and make them something new.
Sam/Adrianna is a 21 year old woman who has never had a drink, sex, a boyfriend, or had any sort of control concerning the direction of her life, that is until she meets Danny. He falls in love with her at first sight and you actually believe it. After anxiously waiting two weeks for a phone call from the love of his life, his hearts desire finally saunters back into the restaurant where he works. He asks why she never called and when she pulls out a note pad to write, he realizes why. However, her face is so beautiful and smile so intoxicating that he overlooks this seeming ‘deal-breaker’ and says he will learn sign language. As their romance develops you become wrapped up in this beautiful world where a zest for life and passion for each other is extremely emotional, but liberating. When they share their first kiss, I was hooked into their relationship and could not let go. With each blow working to tear these two apart, you become more involved and invested in their love, praying it will work out. Please, it has to work out!
Needless to say, by the end of the film I was crying more than a fat kid who dropped their ice cream on the pavement at the zoo. I just could not stop. I do not want to ruin the end and the heart wrenching fate of these two lovers, but what I can reveal is that this simple and elegant film, has officially restored my faith in love and its ability to transcend barriers and inspire life changing actions.