Blu-ray Review: Heartbreakers [Fun City Editions] | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, October 2nd, 2022  


Studio: Fun City Editions

Aug 22, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Blue (Peter Coyote) is an unsuccessful artist, freshly dumped by the long-term girlfriend who had been paying their bills. His subject matter is pinup models, painting them in fetishwear and creating artwork that he’s only able to sell to dirty magazines. Unable to commit to anything but also unwilling to compromise, Blue has hit a wall in both his relationship and his career.

His best friend, Eli (Nick Mancuso), is the son of a successful clothing manufacturer. His family’s wealth has afforded him a swanky bachelor pad overlooking Los Angeles, and a laid-back sort of lifestyle that’s mostly built around hooking up. He longs for true love, but settles for easy sex—finding something to nit-pick about every woman he brings home after their first date and then using it as an excuse to ghost them.

Bobby Roth’s Heartbreakers (1984) takes a tight focus on the relationship between these two longtime friends, who find themselves suddenly adrift from the cushy modes of life they have both enjoyed but allowed to stifle their potential. When the status quos they’d settled into are suddenly interrupted, ugly sides of their friendship bubble up to the surface: old grudges, jealousy, and not-so-friendly competition.

Coyote and Mancuso play Blue and Eli with a well-worn chemistry complicated by years of co-dependence and small betrayals; Roth’s camera rarely separates them. The characters’ relationship feels so symbiotic that most other characters in the film—be they a friend turned rival, a former lover, or a longtime muse—can feel like intruders in the scenes they share with our two leads. Their bond may be as close as two people can share without being family.

Roth’s film is described as semi-autobiographical, and one would imagine this type of story would be difficult to tell if it were any otherwise. Set in various studios, night clubs, art galleries, and all-night diners across mid-Eighties Los Angeles, glints of neon signage can be spotted in the background of what feels like every other frame. Fun City Editions’ Blu-ray looks quite excellent throughout it all, capturing fine detail in even the busiest scenes.

The extras on the disc are particularly well-curated, with writer-director Bobby Roth a full participant in the proceedings, providing both an on-camera interview as well as an introduction for the film. These are accompanied by a new interview with the two leading men, and a commentary by filmmaker Chris O’Neill, who also supplied the excellent video essay for Morvern Callar, and the Supporting Characters podcast’s Bill Ackerman; the track not only dives into the necessary backstories for the film’s contributors, but provides additional insight by doing things like pointing out where performances diverged from the screenplay. Rounding out the package are a booklet full of essays and Tangerine Dream’s isolated musical score. (Not to mention, some cool Easter eggs buried in the menu.)

Heartbreakers is yet another disc we’re very comfortable recommending from the increasingly eclectic Fun City Editions collection.



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