“The Heart Specialist” is DOA. A ploddingly paced and tonally dissonant mix of broadly played sitcom-style humor and shameless heartstring-yanking, this long-shelved indie has been dropped into a limited theatrical run much like a terminally ill patient might be checked into a hospice. After its inevitable B.O. flatline, expect a quick transfer to Redbox kiosks.
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter was also less than enthusiastic:
Filmed in 2006 but only now receiving a limited theatrical release no doubt thanks to the presence of rising star Zoe Saldana (Avatar), the African-American, medical-themed The Heart Specialist plays like a poorly written episode of Gray’s Anatomy. This awkward, amateurish blend of comedy and melodrama will need life support stat to prevent it from immediately disappearing from theaters.
But this begs the question as to why it got a theatrical release at all. Did investors in the film have a legal clause demanding a theatrical release?