Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as the new Hart to Hart

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston have been friends for a long time, having starred in films such as Just Go For It in 2011, before reuniting for the unpretentious Murder Mystery, in 2019. In both, they understood that there is chemistry and laughter in the relationship of a middle-aged couple -an age that they can explore successfully. So much so that they are back, on the same Netflix, with Murder Mystery 2. Guaranteed distraction.

After helping to solve a crime in 2019, Nick and Audrey Spitz open their own private investigation business and of course, it goes wrong more than right. On a new trip abroad, they get into trouble again and end up helping – tortuously – to decipher a new mystery.

The duo’s franchise explores the same whodunit genre or who killed with the Agatha Christie formula of uniting a series of suspects in a single location. There are several films exploring the theme, but there is something special about the Aniston-Sandler Mysteries: they lead a kind of reissue of a classic detective duo: Hart to Hart. If you lived through the 1980s, you’ll understand what I’m saying perfectly, but let’s remember or re-present for those who don’t know the original.

Created by the best-selling writer of dramatic books, Sidney Sheldon, the series that was on the air between 1979 and 1983 featured the millionaire couple, Jonathan and Jennifer Hart (Robert Wagner and Jenniffer Powers), working as amateur detectives traveling around the world, always “with a talent for finding mysteries wherever they are”, without forgetting to maintain the romance, while “discovering thefts, espionage and various frauds”. All adventures had the essential and providential help of the faithful butler Max (Lionel Stander), who introduced us to the duo off-screen defining that “when they met, it was murder! “.

Hart to Hart was initially thought to bring star Cary Grant to TV, but he turned down the role. Then the proposal was to have Natalie Wood as a partner of her then-husband, Robert Wagner, but she also refused. (She would mysteriously die in 1981 in a drowning accident never fully explained.)

Series producers signed other hits of the time, Charlie’s Angels and Fantasy Island, and wanted a high-style mystery comedy, bumping into a shelved project by Sidney Sheldon, called Double Twist, which just needed a few adjustments. With the help of screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, who was credited with James Bond films (007 – Live and Let Die and Diamonds Are Forever), the immediately approved Hart couple was born.

The original name – Hart to Hart – plays with the English expression Heart to Heart, which has the same pronunciation and means to have a frank conversation.

With worldwide success, Hart to Hart even had a reissue in the 1990s, between 1993 and 1996, before being shelved. The Spitz couple is like the Harts, addicted to the mystery. The updated version plays more openly with the clichés of mystery films and, by reversing the duo’s financial situation, brings modernity to the formula. Is it unbeatable? No way. But entertain!


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