Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)

Things that can be broken: promises, wine glasses, bones, chairs, traffic laws.

Things that can't be broken: WILD HEARTS


Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is the story of Sonora Webster a woman who jumped on the back of a charging horse just as it was about to leap 60 feet into a muddy pool of water. She did it for 19 years, 11 of those years she was blind. What did you do today? I watched Glee Now I'm on my porch drinking wine. I'd say we're about even.

Sonora lives on a farm, but she dreams of glamor. She carries this picture around because it's INSPIRATIONAL to her:

She also loves horses. This movie was the shit if you were a girl between the ages of 10 and 14 ever.

One day, Sonora sees an add for a horse diving girl.

It just so happens that the very day Sonora sees the ad, her aunt tells her she's kicking her out (Sonora's parents died so her aunt is taking care of Sonora and Sonora's little sister). Sonora is so much trouble that her aunt just can't handle her anymore! What with her cutting her own hair and her independence and whatnot.

So, Sonora runs away to join the horse jumping show where these two are the stars:

Because Sonora is pretty much the opposite of glamor, the boss, Doc Carter (the guy in the awesome hat and jacket pictured above) hires her on as a stable hand.

But Doc Carter's son, Al, takes a liking to Sonora and secretly helps her train to become a diving girl.

Sonora and Al bond. I mean, can you blame her? Look at Al. He's Jake Ryan!
And he's also that guy from Mermaids!
And he quit the movie biz to be create handcrafted furniture. Swoon.

In an attempt to add glamor to her life, Sonora gives herself a make over. 
This is what I look like after a night of Franzia and Australia's Next Top Model inspired makeup experiments.

Blah blah blah, tension and people not believing in her, Sonora finally manages to jump on a moving horse!

But all is not good in Doc Carver's traveling show. Al and his dad don't get along. So Al sets out to see the world. He promises to write to Sonora every day. Now that they sometimes do the kissing and the googly eyes and the hand holding.

Al does write every day, but Doc Carver intercepts the letters and burns them.

One day, the main diving girl has a training accident and hurts her shoulder, so Doc Carver is forced to let Sonora dive. Everyone is freaking out! Can she do it?! She's so small! What if she gets hurt! Oh dear!

But, this is the story of dreams and determination! You know what happens!
Sonora totally does great!

And Doc Carver (as portrayed by Academy Award winning actor Cliff Robertson) is totally happy about it!
Everything is great!

Or not
There's a big depression going on and the whole country is really hurting. Bad.

Al, on his journeys, finds a poster of Sonora on a wall and sees that her dreams have come true. Almost.
He's even carrying her inspiration picture around with him. Al gets an idea and meets with a guy in Atlantic City about bringing the horse diving show to the entertainment capital of New Jersey.

Then Al returns to Doc Carver's horse ranch:

He also makes up with his dad when tells them that he arranged for the horse diving show to have a semi-permanent home in Atlantic City.
Why is it that in these Inspirational Sports Movies, so many parents only accept and love their children after they bring the $$$?

On the way to Atlantic City, the group stops for lunch and Doc Carver takes a nap
And he never wakes up. 

And everyone is sad.

ATLANTIC CITY! Everyone is happy!

Right before the first dive of their new awesome life in the glamorous big time, Al proposes to Sonora.

It's the big show! The excitement is electric! But, alas, as the horse is about to dive from the big, giant ramp into the little pool of water, some jerk-wad in the band hits the cymbals, which spooks the horse and the dive goes awry:

A few days later, a doctor informs Sonora that she is permanently blind because she hit the water with her eyes open which detached her retinas. (Side note: by day, I work in an optical shop. Once, a woman came in for a routine eye exam and the doctor discovered that her retinas were thisclose to detaching and had to send her IMMEDIATELY to the emergency room. Let that be a lesson to ya: get your eyes checked regularly.)

The owner of the boardwalk threatens Al, if he doesn't find another diving girl, the show will be cancelled!

Al brings Marie, the previous diving girl back to the show. Marie had quit because she was so pissed that they brought Sonora into the show. Now that she's back, she's all about gloating and making Sonora feel like shit.

Sonora won't have any of it. She's determined to jump horses again. She does lots of training in the rain.
There's also a scene that's real sexy-times between Sonora and her horse. She's running her hands along the horse's back in a dark barn only illuminated by moonlight. Maybe a little too "A woman and her horse" if you know what I mean.

So, anyway, Al helps her train to ride horses again.

But the training isn't going well. Sonora keeps falling and there's a whole training montage of her falling over and over and over.

But, you see, Sonora has never let other people doubting her get in her way. She realizes that it's the sound of the hooves and the rattle of the ramp that will tell her when to grab on to the horse for the jump. Something you just can't mimic with traditional training.

So she hatches a plan. Along with the new stable hand, she continues to train and, right before the big show, he locks Marie in her training room and sets Sonora's favorite horse loose.

The horse runs up the ramp and Sonora listens while Al and the Atlantic City boss guy are flipping out because they are convinced that the 100+ fans are going to see a girl die.


Sonora makes the grab:

And executes a perfect dive!





Apparently, the real Sonora was all, it wasn't that hard to start diving again, duh. She hated the movie.

But in the world of Inspirational Sports Movies, and Disney movies, and girls who love their horses, this movie is pretty dang awesome. I mean, she dove horses blind! That's wild! And she lived to be 99! And, it seems, she was a pretty kick ass lady



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