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Classic Movie Review: 'Untamed Heart' Marisa Tomei Loves Christian Slater and his Baboon Heart

1993 was wild y'all. Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei, baboon hearts, and stalker love stories.

By Sean PatrickPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

Untamed Heart (1993)

Directed by Tony Bill

Written by Tom Sierchio

Starring Marisa Tomei, Christian Slater, Rosie Perez

Release Date February 12th, 1993

Published February 12th, 2023

So... let's see if I understand this correctly. We are going to work this out together, you and me, dear reader. Christian Slater is a grown adult who still believes that when he was a child, living in the jungle, that his father stole magical rubies from a Baboon King to try and save Slater's characters life. When the Baboon King, who was trying to murder Slater's father, finds out that the rubies are for trying to save the child, the Baboon King tears out his own heart and puts it into the child Christian Slater's chest. He believes this story so much that, as an adult, working at a diner in Minnesota, he tells this to the women he's been stalking/falling in love with.

That's something that a human being wrote down and then made into a movie. Untamed Heart is a wild damn disaster of a romantic drama. It's a bizarre movie that appears to think it's perfectly normal for a grown man to rarely speak and believe that he has a baboon heart so thoroughly that he doesn't want to get a heart transplant that might prolong his life. And he's the romantic lead in this movie? Yes, though you might think he's the little brother who suffered a head injury as a child that the actual romantic lead in the movie takes care of because their parents are gone, but no he's the actual lead in the movie.

So, okay, yeah, that's completely insane. Marisa Tomei is the actual star of Untamed Heart as a diner waitress named Caroline. While walking home late one night, Caroline is accosted by a pair of men, played by Kyle Secor and Willie Garson. Secor attempts to sexually assault Caroline but is thwarted by Adam (Christian Slater). Adam then scoops up an unconscious Caroline and takes her home where he places her on a porch swing and spends hours watching her sleep. Yeah!

By this point, it's been established that though Caroline and Adam have worked together for some time, he doesn't speak to her or really anyone if he doesn't absolutely have to. So, if they don't know each other, how does Adam know where she lives? Well, he's been stalking Caroline for weeks or perhaps months or more. He claims that he just follows her home to make sure she gets there safe but later we will learn that he was also breaking into her house and watching her sleep.

For her part, Caroline finds all of this incredibly romantic. The 90s were a goddamned mess. If you don't believe that women have spent most of their lives being gaslighted into thinking insane things are actually romantic, you haven't seen this nutzo movie that posits a stranger breaking into a woman's home to watch her sleep for weeks or months on end, as romantic devotion worthy of them spending the rest of their lives together.

The scene where we find out that Adam has been following Grace home comes when he breaks into her house and puts up a Christmas tree in her room, fully decorated. She'd mentioned loving Christmas so he broke into her house and decorated a Christmas tree in her bedroom while she slept. Her reaction to this is somehow not complete horror. Instead, she responds by saying thank you and 'I can't believe you remembered.' Remembered what? Christmas? Honestly, I wonder if they had Marisa Tomei's character act dumber just so she might seem like she would buy into Slater's Adam as a legit romantic partner.

Eventually, those nasty bad guys, Kyle Secor and Willie Garson, return and take revenge on Adam by assaulting and stabbing him in the gut. He then goes to the hospital and they find that he needs a heart transplant to survive. He refuses the idea of getting a transplant and escapes from the hospital without being discharged. He goes to Caroline's house and when she asks about the transplant he says "I'm afraid, if they take my heart, I won't love you like I do now." Caroline kindly tells him that, that is not how hearts work and Adam replies, "then why does it hurt so much here (his heart) when you're not around." Honestly, if this dialogue had originally been written for a small child, it would make a great deal more sense in context.

If he were 8 years old and talking to his mother this dialogue makes sense. But no, this line is coming from a grown adult played by Christian Slater. It sounds like he has a severe head injury to go with his need for a new heart. The effort by Marisa Tomei to try and normalize this dialogue and behavior is yeoman-like. That Marisa Tomei maintains a semblance of dignity in Untamed Heart is a testament to her remarkable talent. Few actresses could survive something as mind numbingly dimwitted as Untamed Heart.

Untamed Heart is the latest movie featured on the Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast spinoff Podcast, Everyone's a Critic 1993. Myself and co-hosts Amy K, and M.J are watching one movie per week from 1993 and talking about it for an hour. We've had a lot of fun with movies such as Leprechaun, Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice, and the only good movie we've seen so far, Loaded Weapon 1. You can listen to the Everyone's a Critic 1993 Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Find my archive of more than 20 years and nearly 2000 movie reviews at Find my modern review archive on my Vocal Profile, linked here. Follow me on Twitter at PodcastSean. Follow the archive blog at SeanattheMovies on Twitter. Listen to me talk about movies on the Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. If you've enjoyed what you have read, consider subscribing to my work here on Vocal. If you'd like support my work you can do so by making a monthly pledge or by leaving a one-time tip. Thanks!


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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