New York

“One From The Heart”

One from the Heart, a title laced with ironies (half of them unintentional), is Francis Coppola’s overwrought valentine to Joe Average and the Missus. A dollop of glum Capra-corn served with the gooey hues and would-be fizz of an early ’50s M-G-M production number, the film is an Amarcord–like studio confection, reportedly directed from afar via video hookup. Coppola’s primary command, as a photographer of my acquaintance remarked, was likely “Lights! Camera! Lights!”—a not altogether inappropriate strategy for a movie meant to evoke downtown Las Vegas on the Fourth of July.

Las Vegas—a climate-controlled environment in which retired Rotarians from deepest Indiana can frolic and gamble with Samoan abandon to the assembly-line clatter of a thousand slot machines—embodies American notions of freedom, grandeur, and manifest destiny with an invigorating, hallucinatory tawdriness. The place has

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