Movie Recommendation: Queen of Hearts

Since my dear husband finally fell victim to the dread plague, I watched a movie by myself last night, while holding a little blue t-shirt in my lap (to signify that I was about to start folding laundry any minute now).

Well, I didn’t get any laundry done, but I did rediscover a wonderful movie that you will love, as long as you’re not my husband.  Really, I don’t know what is wrong with him.  The movie is Queen of Hearts from 1989.

I thought of it because my friend Tiffany was talking about her annual January longing for all things Roman, which she has suffered ever since we spent a semester in Rome our sophomore year in college.  While this movie doesn’t take place in Rome, or even mostly in Italy, it might assuage a little of that ache, being chock full of golden light, a “bella machina” (a gleaming espresso machine with an eagle on top), a horrible old grandmother, and lots of Italian-eyed Italians speaking Italian without subtitles.  It’s mostly in English, but it’s told from the point of view of the little boy, who understands things in his own way — part nonsensical, part funny, part heartbreaking, part exactly the way they are, or ought to be.

It will also assuage your longing for a strange and entertaining story about love and friendship, death and family.  Oh boy, it’s hard to explain this movie without making it sound sappy and awful.  It’s not!  It’s funny, knives and guns are wielded, there is betrayal and cowardice, and everyone still loves each other in the end.  It seems to be available for sale only on VHS, but Netflix has it on Instant View.  It’s rated PG.  There are a few brief unsavory elements, but these will likely go over the heads of any innocent viewers.

Many, many memorable scenes and images in this movie, including some incredible interior scenes through the eyes of a dying man.  Excellent acting.  Just a moving, endearing, pleasurable movie all around.  Tiffany, I guarantee you’ll like this movie.  And the rest of you, too!


  1. Netflix Instant view, espresso maker and glorious Italian. That’s all you need to say–I’m watching it tonight! 😀 I’ll be doing the same laundry routine.

    Hey, I got a laundry table! (Oops, I mean coffee table!) The neighbor 5 doors down put it out by the street, so I elegantly heaved it home. It matches my distressed furniture perfectly! 😀

  2. Wow! Thanks for the personalized recommendation! Sadly, I’m the last person on the planet without a netflix subscription (even my parents have it!). But I will find a way to see this movie somehow someday! …Maybe when I have some laundry I can set on my lap!

    • If you just want to watch instantly your parents can add a profile for you and set you to no DVDs and you’ll have your own password and queue for watch instantly.

  3. sounds delightful! We have had netflix since forever- or since my kids would look at the covers of the video store movies and scream in terror- blast these non-desensitized kids!

  4. FYI, the movie on cover is completely different than yours. I had to double-check to make sure it was the same thing.

    • You mean the cover is different from the image in the post? Yes, I picked the movie poster for the image, because I thought it made a better picture than the movie cover. Same movie, though.

  5. Never thought to have a longing for Rome in January but it is certainly more romantic than sighing for impossible amounts of sunlight. I think I’ll have to try and recreate a ciocolatto caldo with piles of freshly whipped cream and pull that movie up on the Wiiiiiiiiii. I know I have a recipe somewhere.

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