Erin Richter
May 02, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Had the truly inspiring story of dedicated East Harlem violin instructor Roberta Guaspari not already been orchestrated with real emotion in 1995’s Oscar-nominated documentary ”Small Wonders,” Wes Craven’s predictable, Hollywoodified redux Music of the Heart, with Meryl Streep in the lead (giving one of her usual nuanced, Best Actress-ready performances), might play better. But without the hardships and genuine joy of Guaspari’s inner-city students, this polished recomposition ultimately sounds flat.

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