Grace of My Heart

Grace of My Heart is a 1996 American musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Allison Anders, and starring Illeana Douglas, Matt Dillon, Eric Stoltz, Patsy Kensit and John Turturro. The film charts the fictional music career of Denise Waverly, an aspiring singer who writes for other artists in the pop music world of the mid-1960s. It premiered at the 1996 Toronto International Film Festival and went into limited release on September 13, 1996.


In 1958, Philadelphia steel heiress Edna Buxton enters and wins a talent contest. When she attempts to record a demo, a studio producer tells her that girl singers are not currently getting signed and record companies are even trying to get rid of the ones on their rosters. However, when Edna tells him that she wrote the song she wants to record, he is impressed enough to direct her to producer Joel Milner, who takes her under his wing, renames her "Denise Waverly" and invents a blue-collar persona for her. Milner reworks her song for a male doo-wop group, the Stylettes, as male groups are far more marketable, and the song becomes a hit.