Stolen Hearts Review

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Frank O'Brien, a petty thief, and his 7-year-long girlfriend Roz want to put an end to their unsteady lifestyle and just do that "one last job", which involves stealing a valuable painting.


Comedian Denis Leary’s second starring vehicle gets off to a cracking start with Leary and Bullock blasting down the highway to the strains of Shane MacGowan and Sinead O’Connor’s Haunted By The Ghost. On top of this they proceed to have one of the funniest domestic arguments in recent movie memory, as it gradually becomes apparent that an increasing gaggle of police cars are in hot pursuit. It’s a shame, then, that the movie has shot its wad in these first few minutes.
Leary is a petty thief who’s unknowingly half-inched a Matisse with plans to turn the whole deal into a nice weekend away for him and his girlfriend Bullock. Retreating to a remote isle, they soon find their relationship falling apart from within, while outside forces — the neighbour who takes a shine to Bullock, the cops who take a shine to the missing Matisse — aren’t helping much either.
Written by Leary, and known as Two If By Sea in the US, this is a
movie whose strength lies in two areas — characterisation and performance. There’s a genuine wit and spark between Bullock and Leary, who here strives to play a more rounded, more human version of the aggressive stand-up image we know and mostly love. Best of all, here are two people who are by no means perfect, full of faults and foibles, and increasingly unable to make their relationship work. Unfortunately they’re stuck in a weak plot that manages to constantly detract from them and the humour of the piece. There are, however, some great moments — Leary’s attempted name-dropping at a posh cocktail party is a highlight — and while its unsatisfactory elements never manage to congeal into a satisfying whole, there’s still much here to enjoy.

Enjoyable, if slight.