Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in L.A. Paul produces Hannahs TV cooking show, and they must move beyond gentle barbs when she wants to know about an affair of his years ago. Mark is dying of AIDS, and his mother comes to his bedside they must talk truthfully. Men have scalded Meredith so she rebuffs Trents charm, but he persists. The trendy, prolix Joan tries to pull the solitary Keenan into her orbit why is he reluctant? An adulterous couple meet at hotels for evening sex, but she is unwilling for the relationship to grow. Hugh tells tall tales, usually tragic, to women in bars. By the weeks end, their parallel stories converge.
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i was pleasantly surprised by this romantic comedy. all the individualstories were good in their own right and it was great how they all cametogether in the end. by far the best story was the one with angelina jolieand ryan philippe's characters. they had great chemistry and it was reallytouching when his situation was revealed. it was hilarious seeing hercharacter trying to get the guy to like her. jolie looked great in thismovie. it was also nice seeing gillian anderson in a non x-files role.also jon stewart is a very underrated actor and he's always good inwhateverrole he gets. i highly recommend it to people who like romantic movies.this is one of the good ones.
It is rare that I award five stars in any review, but Playing By Heart is a rare type of film. Pulp Fiction-like in storytelling, the movie is composed of a puzzle-piece plot of various stories that come together beautifully in the end. This movie subverts a lot of cinematic standards. The story line is not linear, the characters are not your typical theatrical cookie-cutter cut-outs, and the message of the film is topical and revelatory.If that doesn't sell you, check out this cast: -Angelina Jolie at her finest, and this beauty is fine on an off day. -Gillian Anderson in her best role to date (mind you, I have yet to see House of Mirth). -Ellen Burnstyn and Jay Moore in roles so powerful that you will want to immediately call your parents or children and tell them how much you love them. -Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands...need I say more. What a handsome couple they make in this film too. -Ryan Phillipe easily giving his most emotional and powerful role to date.-John Stuart proving he can act his way to bigger and better things than The Daily Show. -Dennis Quaid in the role that will keep you guessing the most. -...and last but not least: Anthony Edwards and Madeline Stowe. I was never a huge fan of Stowe, but she was amazing in this film.I give you listing of the cast only to emphasize how brilliant this movie is. I have no idea why it got minimal press when it was released in theaters, but don't let this film pass you up! It was easily the best film I've seen in years. An amalgam of heart, acting, and storytelling at its best. Brilliant!
From the devotion a mother has for her child to the colorful passion thatcan blindside us all, this mature comedy/drama runs the gambit of loves manysmiles and tears. It wascertainly a welcome treat for my eyes and emotions. I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people that loves movies thatkeep you thinking about them days after you've seen it. "Playing By Heart"did this in spades for me. A magnificent display of clever dialog andperfect acting that makes you forget it's even being acted. It's easy toloose yourself in this whirlpool if you live a less than romantic life. It's also easy to find yourself if you love to fantasize.Witty, sad, funny and wonderful I would recommend this to anyone with senseenough to count to ten. Or maybe even one of those smaller numbers if youtried real hard. It's a movie. Don't be lazy. Rent the damn thing. I promise it won't killyou. You might even smile before it's over.-Bruce
This review is from: Playing By Heart (DVD) Great movie with an all star cast. Watching it for the first time you feel a little confused about what is happening but it comes together so well in the end. This is what I call a sleeper because I do not remember it in the theaters and/or it did not sound interesting enough go to see it. Definitly worth watching for Dennis Quaids performance (not to mention Angelina Jolie).
A lot of critics compared this to Robert Altman or Alan Rudolph films; Ithink Carroll is really aiming for James L. Brooks doing Altman or Rudolph. A lot of the lines are trying for that snappy Brooks dialogue(like whenKeenan(Ryan Phillipe) tells Joan(Angelina Jolie) "I don't date," to whichshe responds, "I've never heard that one before."), and trying to mix comedyand drama as well as he does. The problem is while Carroll is trying atleast for grand things - talking about love, death, family - he misses inhow to do it. It's clever when it wants to be insightful, and shallow whenit wants to be truthful. And while there are supposed to be surprises atthe end, only one of them really was(which I won't reveal).On the other hand, this can't easily be dismissed, because all of theperformers are appealing(even though Anthony Edwards, Dennis Quaid, andMadeline Stowe get stuck with ridiculous subplots, they're always nice towatch). Even Phillipe, who I normally don't like, comes across pretty wellhere. The ones who register the most are Anderson, Connery, Jolie,Rowlands, and Stewart. Stewart and Anderson feel like a real couple, andthey nicely underplay their dialogue, which makes it play evenbetter(especially when Stewart first meets Anderson's dog; "Suddenly I feelinadequate" may seem like a sitcom line(even though it IS a huge dog), buthe makes it seem real). Jolie clearly relates to these types of roles, andgives all of her lines an extra snap to them. She's also very expressivehere with her face. Connery and Rowlands also feel like a real couple, andit's nice to see him acting with someone his own age for a change. Somehave questioned whether it's realistic what they would be arguing about, butsince she wants to talk about something else and can't, this is her way ofgetting it out, so I had no problem with that.Overall, it's one of those films saved by good acting, but if Carroll isaspiring to the level of a James L. Brooks, he needs to godeeper.
There are some great lines in "Playing by Heart" and it'sagood look at life and love. However, it did seem to dragattimes, especially once I had figured out how it was all goingtotie together from the clues provided throughout the film.I was a little disappointed with the ending : I wouldhave preferred something more open-ended and/or not necessarilyso complete and expected. But then the enjoyment of thisfilm is not in the conclusion but how it's reached.Overall I gave it 7/10 - worth seeing but don't rush.
This movie held so much emotion for me. It was done in a very real perspective and encouraged lost emotions of my own to surface. I was captivated by the screen and by the incredible preformances of the wide variety of supremely talented actors. The movie was held together for me by the truly raw relationship between Angelina Jolie and Ryan Phillipe. I cried for 800 reasons into many hours after the movie was over and I felt refreshed and alive. Extremely well done. Something that shouldn't be missed...
My wife and I found it overly dramatic and depressing. I found it moretragic than comedic with the only real "laughs" as enlightened chucklescoming from irony as the plot wrapped. I cannot think of one laugh from asituation or dialog. All in all, I felt that the poster sold me a bill ofgoods. It wasn't funny enough to make me laugh and wasn't dramatic enoughto make me think. The only emotion it evoked from me was irritation.I give it a 3 out of 10 for its waste of a talented ensemble cast. Itsmeatloaf made from filet mignon. No matter how good the ingredients goinginto it its still meatloaf.Disappointing.
This film is a very mixed bag. On the one hand it has a stellar cast, with the premise of taking stories concerning couples - that at the end intervene into one family. On the other hand, at its bad moments it reminded me of "Loveboat"! I absolutely cringed by some of the dialogue, cliches by tons that many of the actors had to chew. One has to see great actors like Sean Connery (with a nothing of a role) and Gena Rowlands in such a banal situation with no originality whatsoever (talk about formula writng!) Other couples did fairly better... when suddenly the story of Angelina Jolie appeared... now that was great! It was as if it was written by someone else. It was smart, touching and alive. Angelina is absolutely wonderful... The end is kitcshy & warm, and surprising, but imagine if before so had been better written!
This review is from: Playing By Heart (DVD) When most movies boast of an "all-star cast," what they usually mean is 2, maybe 3 big name actors + a bunch of people you've never heard of. Not so with this film. With the likes of Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery, Madeline Stowe, Gillian Anderson and Angelina Jolie, this one truly lives up to the promise of having a celebrity-filled cast. They could have funded the first manned mission to Mars with the payroll of this movie. Even better, these are all cream-of-the-crop actors, as opposed to being big-name pseudo actors (like Keanu Reeves, for instance).The story is about 3 sisters (Stowe, Anderson & Jolie), all of whom experience various troubles regarding men. Stowe's character is involved in a passionless marriage; the only way she can feel alive & vibrant is by engaging in a lascivious sexual arrangement with a fellow apartment tenant.Anderson plays the sister "in the middle" who has been burned by men in her past & is apprehensive and more than a little bit reluctant to "play the field" again.Jolie's persona, meanwhile, just plain can't seem to find the right guy. She goes thru frequent romances, but never finds a worthwhile partner to hang on to.In the meantime, their parents are having their own marital troubles. Closing in on their 40th wedding anniversary, they cannot help but summon up ghosts of past lovers.The tale is presented in a very different way than any other film I have ever seen. We see the characters deal with their individual struggles, then their stories are woven together at the end. This is a fascinating "angle" by which to detail the narrative. The film is very well done & all of the acting performances, as expected with this ensemble, are impeccable. Jolie, in particular, stands out. The acting job she delivers is magnificent; I become a bigger & bigger fan of her's each movie I see her in. This is one of the best "date" movies I have ever seen; funny, yet emotionally poignant. Sometimes, it's best to play by heart.
It's literally a stellar cast and very interesting pairings: 1) Sean Conneryand Gena Rowlands, 2) Angelina Jolie and Ryan Phillippe, 3) Gillian Andersonand Jon Stewart, 4) Anthony Edwards and Madeleine Stowe with Dennis Quaid,and 5) Ellen Burstyn and Jay Mohr.You kinda have to be patient with this movie, especially if you have noaffinity with words after words Â there are ongoing talking, conversations,and seemingly rationalizing exchanges. About two-thirds into the movie iswhen the story starts to come together full circle, and it is satisfying torealize how clever the storytelling unfolds before us. Juggling andintercutting five pairs of relationship is no easy task, yet it sure seemsso seamlessly one piece.It's like watching the weaving of a tapestry: the various details wovenfirst and in the end we see all the elements (pairings) wonderfullyinterwoven together. As the camera pulls away -- with the help of a highangle shot shooting down -- I kinda felt that God was looking down and waspleased with the work of the guardian angels on the hearts of theseearthlings which can be tamed.Along the lines of taming of the hearts and lessons in relationships, twomovies come to mind:1) The very creative script and well-directed surprise from Alan Jacobs'"Nina Takes a Lover" 1994 - Laura San Giacomo and Paul Rhys with FisherStevens; 2) The heartfelt beyond charm of a movie from Glenn Gordon Caron's"Picture Perfect" - Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr with Kevin Bacon.
ok so maybe I don't know anything and well I thought this was one of thebest films I've seen in a while its one of those movies that you stillthinkabout days later. I loved it!!!! and the scean in the bathroom when shesbrushing her teeth, wow my heart jumped! it was such a touching film!
I have a love affair with ensemble pieces, and this film is noexception. As much a love letter to Los Angeles (which only die-hardAngelinos will appreciate) as a celebration of love, Playing By Heartfollows the lives and loves of four couples in the City of Angels.Gillian Anderson does her best to resist Jon Stewart's elegance andcharm. Madeleine Stowe, bored with her marriage to Dennis Quaid, seeksdanger and excitement in the eyes of a nervous lover (Anthony Edwards).Gregarious Angelina Jolie presses her charms upon Ryan Phillipe, whorebuffs her for painful and personal reasons. Meanwhile, Sean Conneryand Gena Rowlands play an old married couple discussing an affair thatmay or may not have happened when Sean wore a younger man's clothes.Throw in Dennis Quaid's own late-night adventures and a moving B storyof a young man dying of AIDS (Jay Mohr, in an impressive departure fromhis usual smart-guy persona), and you have a rich tapestry of those wholive and love in this great American city. In the end, a series ofconnections between all the characters are revealed, and while some ofthe tied-up loose ends are a little too pat, the overall theme of humanconnection itself is sweet and life-affirming. Watch it on movie nightwith that special someone you'd like to see more of.
We were just perusing, looking for something good...then we started reading the cast list for "Playing By Heart." Jilian Anderson, John Stewart, Sean Connery, Ryan Phillipe, Angelina Jollie, Madeline Stowe, and Dennis Quaid, just to name a few of our favorites! Then we watched it and things just got better. Its subtle and colorful, and you're never waiting for next scene except in anticipation!!
I thought this was an excellent movie. I had seen previews for it before but hadn't really heard much about it. It is definitely a chick flick so don't let the fact that it has Sean Connery fool you. It is about different people and their love lives. The character development is wonderful and the acting superb. The story revolves aroung four seemingly unrelated couples all in various stages of their lives and relationships. Almost anyone can relate to at least one of the characters in the movie, as people struggle with death, illness, and love. My only complaint with the movie was that when the movie was over I wanted it to keep going. The characters entice you into the story and you want to keep watching to see how things work out.Overall it is a great movie that will make you smile, and definitely worth renting.
This review is from: Playing By Heart (DVD) I watched this movie, being on an Angelina Jolie kick, and I have to tell you - I have NEVER watched a movie twice in a row... until this movie. It was BEAUTIFUL. The cast is stellar!
Witty and very entertaining! I didn't even know this movie existed and it certainly looked like a 'chic flick'. Well, this will certainly be a hit with the ladies but I found the movie to be very good. It could be due to the fact that I watched this right after 'TimeCop 2', so the comparison could be playing in its favor.Anyways, I highly recommended it.
I have seen many, many movies, but of all of them, I enjoyed Playing byHeart the most. A truly enjoyable film that gets interested in thecharacter's lives and what happens to them. The film starts out byintroducing each character and their little subplots; I guess that wordcould sum up most of the movie -- sub-plot. The movie is made up of four orfive different sub-plots that follow the lives of the characters and howthey view life and love. From a mother whose son is dying of AIDS to adisillusioned husband who frequents bars and practices his improv. (readlying) skills to a few people who have been burned by love in the past . . .we see a large variety of people who have nothing, and yet everything incommon. A romantic comedy/drama, one of its only flaws is an occasionallyweak script; however, this little fact is easily overlooked by the wonderfulperformances and the touching stories. When the credits finally rolled, Ifelt satisfied and happy . . . Playing by Heart definitely has a catharticending . . . but that's all I can say . . . to say more would reveal theending, and that is definitely one of the coolest parts of the movie. Themovie is appropriately rated (R) because of language and implied sex;however, there is no nudity, no real sex scenes (we see the before and aftershots, no action shots) so I feel that it is an appropriate movie forparents to take their older (15+) teen-agers to see. To sum up, andall-star cast, great stories, fine acting and a wonderful ending make this amovie not to be missed . . . rent it tonight!
Out of every couple I liked Gilly's and Jon's relationship! It was realistic and I loved how Gilly acted. She is the cooolest person alive and such a great actor. My sister said "I can't imagine her as anything else but scully," and she never ever watched the X-files and I said, "Well, how can I if you can't?" Cuz it really makes no sense how I can if i am a dy hard X-file fan and she isn't. But anyways. This story was great and i watched it a lot! I love the scene when Meredith and Trent are getting ready to make love and Meredith says something like.. "Well, this is going to sound strange but..." and Trent goes, "Your worried about Barley and want to go back to your place." and she says, "Oh My God this is so f****** Spooky" I was laughing forever! i loved how she said that! i would have never guessed that she would say that an i missed it the first time!!!! but i got it the second time and laughed and laughed! I loved it and thank you guys so much gilly and jon! you are the coolest people!!!!!!! i love you both!!!!!!!!!!
I saw Playing By Heart with a film group to which I belong. I can notimagine why it did not receive wider release. It has an imaginative, wellwritten story and a great cast. The characters were interesting and wellacted. If there is any fault with this film is that there too many goodactors and characters for the little over two hours. I really wish thefilmhad been three hours. Mr. Carroll has written (also directed) a storythatintertwines and connects love and lover(s) in a most entertaining way. Iwould not want to say anything more about the premise than that. Thisfilmmade me laugh out loud and also cry. The highlight of the film is therelationship between Joan (Angelina Jolie) and Keenan (Ryan Phillippe).These two are dynamite and look forward to seeing more of both. Mark (JayMohr), a young man dying from AIDS, and his mother, Mildred (EllenBurstyn),were also excellent. The other were good as well. This you MUST see onvideo if you like romance and comedy. Three and a half stars!!!