Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979)

Originally released as Head Over Heels, Chilly Scenes of Winter is a quirky romantic comedy directed by Joan Micklin Silver and adapted from Ann Beattie’s first novel of the same name published in 1976. Salt Lake City civil servant “Charles Richardson” (John Heard) becomes totally obsessed with unhappily married “Laura Conley” (Mary Beth Hurt) and all types of hilarity ensues. The whole thing is kind of uncomfortable, however, since Charles’ actions could be today described accurately as nothing less than stalking. However, the strong performances by the lead characters keep the whole thing from falling apart. Although most people remember Heard for his role as “Peter McCallister” in Home Alone (1990) or “Detective Vin Makazian” in The Sopranos, I for one have always enjoyed his early performances in the likes of Between the Lines (1977, also directed by Silver), Heart Beat (1980, where he portrays legendary Beat author Jack Kerouac) and especially Cutter’s Way (1981). Chilly Scenes of Winter also boasts a stellar supporting cast that includes Peter Riegert (“Boon” in Animal House), Kenneth McMillan (Dune), Gloria Grahame (The Big Heat) and Mark Metcalf (“Neidermeyer” from Animal House).   

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