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Film / Random Hearts

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Random Hearts is a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas. It is based on the 1984 novel of the same name by Warren Adler.

William "Dutch" Van Den Broeck (Ford) is a Washington, D.C. police sergeant. Kay Chandler (Scott Thomas) is an U.S. Congresswoman. A Boeing 737 flight bound for Miami crashes, and everyone on board is killed. Dutch realizes that, unfortunately, his wife was on the plane, but he soon comes to a more awful conclusion: The reason why she was on the plane was because she was having an affair, and he finds out that the man she was with was Kay's husband. When he and Kay meet to discuss the situation and discover all the details behind the affair, they find themselves falling for each other, much to their surprise.

This film features examples of:

  • Pair the Spares: Basically the entire plot of the movie. A man and a woman discover that their respective spouses had an affair with each other, then they themselves fall in love.
  • Romancing the Widow: Both Dutch and Kay do this to each other. The fact that their late spouses had an affair with each other certainly adds an awkward subtext.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Dutch and Kay's first romantic interaction happens this way. When they discuss their situation, he makes it clear that he's determined to find out all the details, while she just wants to let it go. They're arguing about this and she's slapping and shoving him when he abruptly grabs and kisses her, shocking both of them.