Melissa Pierson
February 14, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Grace of My Heart

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Bruce Davison, Matt Dillon, Illeana Douglas, Eric Stoltz, Jill Sobule, Christina Pickles, John Turturro
director
Allison Anders
genre
musical, Drama

We gave it an B

As singer-songwriter Denise Waverly, whose story superficially resembles Carole King’s, Douglas’ performance is so moving and strong, it’s a shame the picture spins out of control around her. There’s a lot of contrived a clef business, for one thing, with her boss (John Turturro) looking like Phil Spector and a marriage to a troubled surf-rock genius a la Brian Wilson (the insufferable Dillon). Then writer-director Allison Anders (Gas Food Lodging) goes a step beyond by adding overreaching plot developments and sabotaging her movie’s emotional potential. But for fans of ’60s pop, Grace of My Heart is a must-see, with some of its clever song pastiches a must-rewind.

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