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Playing by Heart (1998)

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Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in L.A.



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Mills ...


Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in L.A. Paul produces Hannah's 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 Trent's 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 week's end, their parallel stories converge. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The comedy with a twist. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dancing About Architecture  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,669 (USA) (1 January 1999)


$3,956,212 (USA) (19 February 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of John Barry's score was replaced with a new score by composer Christopher Young. Barry's credit on the film was retained, however, and a CD was released with Barry's largely unused score. See more »


Up until the end of the movie Angelina Jolie doesn't have her dragon tattoo on her left arm. When all the couples meet for their parents to renew their vows you can then see that she has a red saran wrap heart on her left arm. See more »


Joan: [to waitress] I'll have a vodka martini, very dry, straight up. three olives, and... my sullen friend here will have...
Keenan: A Coke.
Joan: The poster boy for designated drivers will have a *Coke.*
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening scenes introducing the major characters list their character names with subtitles, but not the actors/actresses who are portraying them. See more »


Features Politically Incorrect (1993) See more »


Dance the Night Away
Written by Raul Malo
Performed by The Mavericks
Courtesy of MCA Records Nashville
A division of MCA Records, Inc.
Under license from Universal Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A great romance.
28 June 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Why this film wasn't in wide release is beyond me. It had a great cast and a great story and even the trailer for it was funny. And plus, can't Sean Connery sell a movie all by himself? This is a true hidden gem of a film and it is one that really should be seen by everyone.

I won't really get into the details of the film too much because seeing what this film is all about is one of the joys of it. You watch it and you know there is more to it than the screen play lets on about and it is fun trying to piece clues together to understand what is going on. It is a mystery in some ways and isn't that what the movie claims to be? A mystery about love. And as they allude to, love is a mytery anyway.

My fave characters are Gillian Anderson's and Jon Stewarts. Their story hits all the right notes and it is easy to relate to them. They are both cautious people when delving into love. Both have been hurt but one of them is just a little more relaxed and willing to learn about love again. And there is one scene where Gillian jumps all over Stewart about some silly issue and this is the area where most movies go the traditional route and they break up, get back together and live happily ever after. It is a typical concept and it has been done to death. But in this movie it takes a fresh approach to solving problems and that is it's strength.

This is a great romance and it is also wickedly funny. And the way everything is summed up at the end is not only perfect but it is heart warming and it leaves you feeling glad to be in love, or at least willing to fall again.

49 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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