Clara's Heart

When Clara (Goldberg) come to America from Jamaica to keep house for an irritating white middle class couple (Ontkean and Quinlan), all does not look well to the couple's little boy: after all Clara is black, cooks weird food, and 'talks funny'. Nevertheless, when his parents' marriage begins to crumble, young David turns to the newcomer, and soon learns that she is the most wonderful human being alive. In no time at all he's 'speaking her language' and generally getting to grips with the real world, while his parents disappear even further up their psychological backsides. Mulligan's adaptation of Joseph Olshan's novel doesn't merely flirt with pathos, it positively marries it. There are moments of genuinely touching comedy; Spalding Gray's nauseatingly condescending psychotherapist is spot on; and Whoopi Goldberg, admirable as always, fights a losing battle against a script which forces her to deliver the most appalling imitation of patois since C Thomas Howell in 'Soul Man'.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Mulligan
Screenwriter: Mark Medoff
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg
Michael Ontkean
Kathleen Quinlan
Neil Patrick Harris
Spalding Gray
Beverly Todd
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