HOT DOCS 2012 (Toronto) – An Affair of the Heart (Kirk Haviland)


Affair of the Heart

Starring Rick Springfield

Directed by Sylvia Caminer

Affair of the Heart is the story of Rick Springfield’s fans more than Rick himself. Sure we get the history and timeline rundown of events leading to this part in Rick’s life, but it’s the stories of the diehard fans that surround him that shape the story of Affair of the Heart.

As the film opens we get a montage-style history rundown on Rick’s career from 80’s heartthrob with General Hospital and his hit single Jessie’s Girl through to his decade long disappearance and recent resurgence. We find out that for Rick’s fans there are two “must see” events each year, a cruise that happens in November and a stretch of four consecutive nights of concerts in Milwaukee. It’s the Milwaukee concerts that act as the through line for the first part of the film, as we are introduced to some of the fans that will also be major focus of the film. We meet Sue and Joanne, two New Jersey housewives and lifelong fans who met at a concert and became instant best friends. We also meet the husbands who are constantly abandoned  for Rick. Laurie had multiple surgeries as a young girl,  went through a lot of pain and recovery, and managed to find solace with Rick’s music. Laurie shares a tear filled moment explaining her story to Rick and finally feels she can move forward when by chance she gets to repay Rick with a huge gesture of her own and the two become lifelong friends. Dustin first met Rick as a two year old brought on stage to sing with Rick. Through the years Dustin keeps in touch and appears many times with Rick onstage, including a performance as part of the film with Dustin on guitar. All things lead to the big Rick and Friends cruise and lots of good times and music aboard the ship.

The film delves briefly into Rick’s depression which lead to his leaving the public eye for a decade, but filmmaker Caminer decides to focus more on the fans of Rick and not pursue this storyline unfortunately. The fans used in the doc are really fun to watch, in particular Sue and Joanne and their long-suffering husbands, especially Sue’s husband Mike a former musician in his own right. Rick still proves he can bring the performance onstage with some well captured performances, especially one with a tornado looming in the background proves his devotion to his fans is massive.

Not the best doc I have seen this year, but it certainly is fun.

Til Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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