Movie Review: An Affair of the Heart, Rick Springfield Documentary / Boston Film Festival
Are you a passionate music fan? If you’re nodding yes, you need to see this film.
Do you have absolutely no idea how people could possibly be so passionate about music? If you’re nodding yes, you need to see this film.
The Boston Film Festival presented An Affair of the Heart, a Rick Springfield documentary this weekend and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. I had been hoping to see the film for well over a year now as I had heard it was a passion project for a long time Rick Springfield fan, the executive producer, Melanie Lentz-Janney. Mel has been a professional in the entertainment biz, covering everything from PR to marketing for over 20 years. As a fan of Rick herself, she saw the special relationship between Rick and his fans and felt the connection was a story that needed to be told. Mel reached out to Emmy Award winning director Sylvia Caminer, and together, they have created a film that all fans of music, not just Rick Springfield’s music, can call their own.
The film brings the audience on tour with Rick Springfield making stops at the Swedish Rock Festival, the Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise, and Rick’s annual multiple night “Rick Fest” at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, WI. Hold on, back up a sec – the Swedish Rock Festival you say? Isn’t that for metal heads? Exactly. The metal horn waving, head banging fans at the Swedish Rock Festival got a taste of Rick a few years back, and the film shows an honest of view of what metal fans thought before, during, and after the performance.
As a pretty big fan of Rick Springfield myself, I had heard of both the Rick Springfield Cruise, as well as the Rick Fest in Milwaukee. I had never had the chance to partake in either experience, so I was excited to get the chance to be a fly on the wall of both events that were showcased. It was through these unique events that we got introduced to some special fans that were featured throughout the documentary. We got a glimpse into their lives and stories, and just how much Rick means to them, both musically and personally. I felt myself laughing, and crying as I could very much relate to how important music was in their lives. One of the featured fans, Laurie, told her story of survival after a battle with an illness and how her road to recovery was long, but she couldn’t have made it without the help of Rick’s music. Her relationship after meeting Rick was so touching, I even started to tear up as I recalled the story to my husband. Kudos to Sylvia and Mel for allowing us to hear Laurie’s wonderful story.
The various interviews with fans, and with Rick himself, showcased how music connects us to each other. This is a universal message, which is why I think all music fans will be moved by how well the connection is portrayed. I can’t explain how many times I’ve been asked the question, “You’re going AGAIN?” about any band that I’ve seen multiple times. Some of my other favorite questions also came up in the film, “Why do you care so much?” and “Doesn’t it get boring?” These are the questions from people who “don’t get it” and pass judgment over those of us that would travel to the ends of the earth to see our favorite musician or band. And these naysayers are also well represented in the film.
For me personally, music has always been a big part of my life. It is the indescribable connection that brings me back over and over again. It is this connection that excites me, that keeps me going – a connection that feeds my soul. But the connection is not just with the music, but also with the music fans. I can say that literally all of my closest friends – for the last 20 plus years – I have met through music. These are lifelong friendships that have lasted through thick and thin, and I was so happy to see these kinds of connections were also featured in the film.
If you happen to be a fan of Rick’s music, there are clips covering most of his catalog throughout the film. And if you aren’t aware, his new album Songs for the End of the World, drops Oct 9th. I am eager for the release date, as I am a background vocalist, along with thousands of other Rick fans, on the track, “I Hate Myself”. Yep, that’s how much Rick cares about all his fans. He even has us participating in the recording of his new album! I’d also like to add, as a fan from the 80s from when I was a kid listening to Jessie’s Girl on the school bus, Rick’s best work just happens to be occurring right now. He’s the most underrated songwriter in the business, and he just keeps honing his craft, turning out new albums that are better than the last. As a music fan, I find this rare, since in my opinion, a lot of musicians are just kind of dialing it in after so many years. If I could have a Rick Springfield tour with songs only from 2004 onward, I’d be there for every show of the tour.
Rick is just an ordinary guy (pun intended for Rick fans) that has shared himself with us both musically, and literally (with his best-selling book Late, Late at Night). As fans, we’ve seen him in an honest way, warts and all, and we embrace him for it. He’s just like us – a dog loving, Star Wars toy collecting, Beatles fan – except he’s got a real knack for writing songs and performing them. And he brings us all together to share in his music. As featured fan Laurie said it best, “How can we ever thank him?”
So thanks, Rick. Thanks for allowing me to share in your musical journey down the Yellow Rick Road to the merry old land of Oz. I’ve had a lot of jolly good fun.
And thanks to Mel and Sylvia and the Yellow Rick Road production team for doing this film. You’ve represented all us Munchkins well!
Missy on the red carpet at the Boston Film Festival:
The Yellow Rick Road sign visiting some of the Boston landmarks: