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Year: 1981
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 105 min
Director: Donald Shebib
Producer: Pieter Kroonenburg, David Patterson, Jerry Raibourn
Executive Producer: Joseph Beaubien, Nicole Boisvert
Writer: Terence Heffernan
Cinematographer: Vic Sarin
Editor: Gerry Hambling, Peter Boita
Sound: Don Cohen
Music: Simon Martin
Cast: Margot Kidder, Annie Potts, Robert Carradine, Winston Rekert, George Touliatos
Production Company: Rising Star Films

Neglected housewife Bonnie (Annie Potts) discovers she is pregnant from a one-night stand. Afraid to tell her husband – and yearning to escape her lonely life – she hits the road. On a bus to Toronto she meets the outgoing, free-spirited Rita (Margot Kidder), who is in search of a future. The two women get an apartment together in the city and find work in a mattress factory, where Rita quickly sets her sights on the handsome Marcello (Winston Rekert), the nephew of the factory owner. As Bonnie contemplates getting an abortion, her husband Stanley (Robert Carradine) finally tracks her down and she is forced to tell him the truth. Rita’s affair ends in betrayal when Marcello’s fiancée arrives from Italy, while Stanley is reunited with Bonnie after coming to terms with her infidelity and accepting the baby as his own.

Made during the tax-shelter era, Heartaches is a more commercial variation on director Don Shebib’s earlier Goin’ Down the Road (1970). In contrast to that film’s bleak vision and realist aesthetic, Heartaches is consistently upbeat and aims to please a large audience; no matter how difficult things may seem for the protagonists, things work out nicely for them in the end. Heartaches is an accomplished, well-directed film, but it is sentimental in tone and has little of the real pain of Shebib’s earlier works. The film features strong performances from an appealing cast; Margot Kidder, in particular, is terrific as the foul-mouthed, man-hungry Rita. The film was nominated for eleven Genie Awards and won for Lead Actress (Kidder), Foreign Actress (Annie Potts) and Original Screenplay (Terence Heffernan).