A Ranch Romance for Devicq and Hensley
Reading the short review in the TV mag I knew exactly what to expect from "Wounded Heart" a typical feel good TV movie, the sort of thing which fills up an afternoon time slot. And to be honest I got exactly what I expected, a simplistic romance with a feel good element as the main character rediscovers what truly is important to them. But it doesn't matter that "Wounded Heart" is simplistic and obvious or that it veers towards the cheesy with less than subtle romantic slush because it delivers charm and warmth.
Tracy Lance (Paula Devicq) is a cold hearted business woman who learns that her estranged father is seriously ill following a stroke. Years of hurt and resentment means that she has no plans to return to see him till she discover that his ranch "The Wounded Heart" is worth $8 million and so heads home from the city in the hope of securing her inheritance. What Tracy doesn't expect is to meet her step brother Sean (Jon Hensley) and for him to show her why the ranch means so much causing her to not only change her opinion about the ranch but also heal old wounds with her father. But with an unscrupulous land developer trying to get his hands on "Wounded Heart" it may all be a lost cause.
From the moment "Wounded Heart" starts and we are introduced to cold hearted business woman Tracy Lance we know by the end she will no longer be a business bitch, especially as in one of these opening scenes she feels slightly guilty for putting someone out of business. What follows on from there is simple as Tracy returns to her father's ranch with the initial plans to make money from its sale but not only falls in love with the place again but also her step brother whilst also healing old wounds with her father who is ill. It is both simple and obvious but is also rather pleasant delivering that friendly atmosphere of the ranch to perfection. As such it maybe corny that Tracy changes from being a cold business woman to a warm and friendly person but it delivers the warmth of the story in bucket loads.
What is annoying is that whilst you can accept all the obviousness of the storyline "Wounded Heart" ends up being a little too cheesy. And the cheesiness comes from Tracy falling for Sean the step brother she has never met, not because the actual subplot is cheesy but the way romantic scenes are put together make you laugh. It ends up spoiling some of the warmth which comes from the story by going over the top with what is simply slush.
As for the acting well honestly none of it impressed but then none of it disappointed. What does seem to be a case are the stars have been cast for their looks and in a way it works. Paula Devicq is stunningly beautiful as Tracy and has what I would call icy eyes making her quite convincing as this cold business woman, but yet when she puts her hair down and starts to fall in love with ranch life she radiates a beautiful warmth. And Jon Hensley has that rugged ranch look as her half brother Sean Donnegal, bringing a softness to the character so whilst you can believe that he feels at home working with horses there is a subtle sensitivity flowing beneath the surface. Plus I have to say that Stuart Whitman looks every bit an old rancher as Tracy's dad Jake with a face full of lines which tell a story of the hard life he has lived.
What this all boils down to is that to be honest "Wounded Heart" is what it is, just another very obvious TV movie. But it is enjoyable and has some charm about it despite it often ending up cheesy and predictable. It's the sort of movie you watch, enjoy but pretty much instantly forget, in a way it's a time filler.