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Music Of The Heart  

Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep)
Janet Williams (Angela Bassett)
Brian Turner (Aidan Quinn)
Isabel Vasquez (Gloria Estefan)
Directed by Wes Craven Written by Pamela Gray
Rated PG for sensuality and mild language Running Time: 124 minutes Distributed by Miramax

Music of the Heart is a mild film that is a little enjoyable because of its leading actress, Meryl Streep. Music of the Heart is based off the true story of Roberta Guaspari (Streep). When Roberta's husband leaves her for another woman, she leaves the security of her small town and moves to East Harlem. There she gives kids hope, love and pride to make something of themselves with the gift of music. After ten years of teaching, the school decides to cut out the music department. With the support of friends, students and the community, Roberta sets out to fight back.

Music of the Heart is an emotional story that seems unrealistic, but it is a true-life story. In my opinion, the best thing in the film is Meryl Streep, because overall the film seems like a cop out of Mr. Holland's Opus. Wes Craven takes a different turn by directing Music of the Heart. Craven is a horror film master that previously directed Nightmare of Elm Street and Scream. Craven does an admirable job with portraying this dramatic piece. Don't look for Craven to stop doing horror though, because his next film Scream 3 opens in February.

Meryl Streep is just a true gem to watch. Streep's vulnerability and presentation of an emotional character is terrific. Angela Bassett is also enjoyable as Roberta's boss Janet Williams. The best scenes in the film are the ones with Streep and Bassett together. The two actresses just engage in the film and deliver fine acting. Singer Gloria Estefan makes her acting debut as Isabel Vasquez in Music of the Heart. However, she didn't have enough lines or colors in her character to really judge if she is a good actress or not.

Pamela Gray wrote Music of the Heart. Like I said before, the script doesn't seem believable. Roberta does have all kinds of consequences, but she overcomes most of them fairly easily. An example in the film is how she easily gets her teaching job, after Janet Williams turned her down previously. The script is also jumpy and needed to be tighten before filming began.

Overall, Music of the Heart is an okay movie that follows behind the force of Meryl Streep.

Report Card Grade: C+

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