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Playing Mona Lisa (2000)

R | | Comedy | 1 May 2000 (USA)
A young pianist is looking for love in all the wrong places once her fiancee drops her. Maybe her flame will be rekindled both for the piano and a new love?



(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Goldstein
Eddie / Carl / Ben
Joe Mazza ...
Barry / Bo
Sulo Williams ...


Claire Goldstein is a gifted pianist, but the same week that none of her friends pass a major competition, including her boyfriend Jeremy, he dumps her. An earthquake in San Francisco damages her apartment, so she must cross town to live with her parents. Her sister is about to get married; her mom is into the occult; her dad is withdrawing and losing his job. Claire obsesses about Jeremy, despite her girlfriends' advising her how to interest other men ("look mysterious, like Mona Lisa") and taking her to parties. Her sweet teacher, Bennett, gets her auditions, but she blows them off. Then, she meets Eddie. Is he the key to her rejoining the human race? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content, sex-related dialogue and brief language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Two Goldsteins on Acid  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First feature film directed by Matthew Huffman. See more »


When Eddie takes Clair to the greenhouse for pizza, you can see a cameraman crouching behind leaves as they enter, even though he says they closed it a long time ago. See more »


Arthur: No, I only work at the video store part time, and at night I'm working on my first novel, called "I Hate People".
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References Baywatch (1989) See more »


Ballade #3 in A flat
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Alicia Witt
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User Reviews

Unbelievably trite film
24 May 2003 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

Another case of "should have left it alone". I read the description of the film on digital cable, I saw "classical musician" and "Harvey Fierstein" and decided to give it a shot. I figured if anything, I would get some decent classical music and well, Harvey Fierstein - one of my favorite people in entertainment after seeing "Torch Song Trilogy" 16 years ago.

Unfortunately, that's pretty much all I got out of this film, and in very small doses. Playing Mona Lisa is has a ridiculous premise: A gifted classically trained pianist graduates from the San Francisco Conservatory and is first proposed to after a drunken night, then dumped. She then moves back in with her family, which tries really hard to be quirky but truly fails and is actually irritating. In between spastic situations with her family, she hangs out with her impossibly "cool" friends who hold some pretty outrageously expensive looking parties and then finds a guy to mess around with. (A relationship that goes nowhere, despite the movie's attempts to make it seem like it's all hot and heavy).

Like I said, the only personal saving graces for this movie were the short appearances of classical piano playing (by Alicia Witt herself, which is impressive) and the fabulous Harvey Fierstein. He should be a "relief actor". Anytime a film looks like it's going to fail miserably, bring in Harvey as a pinch actor, and you'll have at least one redeeming factor. It worked for Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day.


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