Heartbreak Hospital (2002)
There's nearly as much drama and romantic intrigue going on backstage at a popular daytime continuing drama series, as there is on-stage, as witnessed in this independent comedy-drama. Neely Kendall (Chelsea Altman) is a struggling actress who lands a recurring role on the popular daytime soap opera "Heartbreak Hospital." Despite the fact she's playing a woman in a coma and doesn't do very much, Neely becomes a star overnight, which makes things tense between her and her boyfriend Tonio Martinez (Demian Bichir), an Italian chef whose line of bottled spaghetti sauces has arrived on the market with a resounding thud. As Neely's star rises, she finds herself thrown together with Milo Derringer (John Shea), the show's leading man, while one of Neely's co-stars, Sunday Tyler (Diane Venora), thinks the time is right for her to act on her infatuation with Tonio. In the midst of this chaos arrives Lottie Ohrwasher (Patricia Clarkson), a deranged fan of the show who is just a bit too fond of Milo for her own good -- or his. Heartbreak Hospital was based on the popular novel Murder at Heartbreak Hospital by Lottie Ohrwasher. … More
as Sunday Tyler
as Lottie Ohrwasher
as Milo Derringer/Dr. J...
as Tonio Martinez
as Neely Kendall
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Critic Reviews for Heartbreak Hospital
The leads we are given here are simply too bland to be interesting.
Other than a mildly engaging central romance, Hospital is sickly entertainment at best and mind-destroying cinematic pollution at worst.
Unfortunately, Heartbreak Hospital wants to convey the same kind of haughtiness in its own sketchy material but this territory has already been explored previously with better aplomb and sardonic wit.
This derivative flick cops too much from much-better films like Tootsie, Nurse Betty and Soapdish.
The film's tone and pacing are off almost from the get-go.
The director, with his fake backdrops and stately pacing, never settles on a consistent tone.
It's quite diverting nonsense.
You've already seen Heartbreak if you've watched the far superior Nurse Betty or Sunset Boulevard. Even the unwatchable Soapdish is more original.
Desperately unfunny when it tries to makes us laugh and desperately unsuspenseful when it tries to make us jump out of our seats.
An excruciating demonstration of the unsalvageability of a movie saddled with an amateurish screenplay.
A deliberative account of a lifestyle characterized by its surface-obsession - one that typifies the delirium of post, pre, and extant stardom.
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