By Owen Gleiberman
Updated May 07, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

In this desperate-to-be-offbeat independent feature, Kelly Lynch, the lanky goddess from Drugstore Cowboy, plays a New York nurse whose bisexual lover (Sherilyn Fenn) dumps her because she needs ”space.” (It’s an equal-opportunity comedy: The lesbians speak in the same clichés as other dreary movie characters do.) Lynch then hires a professional hustler (William Baldwin) to romance Fenn — all part of a scheme to win her back. And just how is this ingenious plan supposed to work? I’m not quite sure. Three of Hearts is the sort of movie that’s so eager to depict people in cutesy-naughty situations that it never bothers to figure out what they’re doing there.

The two actresses barely get a scene together. Instead, the focus shifts over to Baldwin’s stud for hire. Director Yurek Bogayevicz had the beguiling notion of fashioning an urban romance that’s about friendship as much as it is about love, but his tone is all wrong: Three of Hearts has the curdled atmosphere and pace of an Ingmar Bergman picture. Still, an appealing cast helps leaven the tedium. Lynch shows her usual eagerness in playing the gawky misfit, and Baldwin, with his bedroom eyes and cuddly passivity, is the American gigolo as teddy bear. C