Music Of The Heart
Newly divorced Roberta Guaspai (Meryl Streep) began teaching the violin to students of an East Harlem school. At first, the kids, the parents, and the principal were skeptical. Soon, however, her passion became infectious. But where would a film like this be, if the school board didn’t eventually cut her funding?
Sure enough, after ten years of service, the board dropped Roberta’s program due to a lack of money. Not wanting the kids to lose out on this opportunity, Guaspai fought back to preserve this curriculum. With the support of her friends and the community, plus a little help from Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman and Arnold Steinhardt, the real-life Guaspai and her students raised money to continue the music program by performing at – Carnegie Hall!
Yes, it could justly be called MRS. Holland’s Opus, due to its similarities to the Richard Dreyfuss vehicle, but the film, nonetheless, is most entertaining. Its strength lies in Ms. Streep’s performance and several positive messages it conveys, including examples of compassion and understanding between races and not giving up when things get difficult. Although the film suggests that the lead lived with a man outside marriage after her husband abandoned her, there are no sex scenes. In fact, our heroine regrets this act, as she discovers the man is not willing to commit to a life-long relationship. The film does not focus on a romance, but on her determination to provide for her children and to help her students. As for the language, the expression “Oh my God” numbers nearly twenty. We approved this film because we did not feel the intent was to profane God’s name. It is a powerful film, with moving messages, but we feel it is our duty to warn you that this terminology is often used.