7.1/10
17,812
194 user 77 critic

Playing by Heart (1998)

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0:26 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in Los Angeles.

Director:

Willard Carroll

Writer:

Willard Carroll
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angelina Jolie ... Joan
Dennis Quaid ... Hugh
April Grace ... Valery
Patricia Clarkson ... Allison
Gena Rowlands ... Hannah
Sean Connery ... Paul
Gillian Anderson ... Meredith
Christian Mills ... Phillip
Kellie Waymire ... Jane
Madeleine Stowe ... Gracie
Anthony Edwards ... Roger
Ellen Burstyn ... Mildred
Jay Mohr ... Mark
Tim Halligan ... Cook Show Director
Michael Emerson ... Bosco
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Storyline

Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in Los Angeles. Paul produces Hannah's television 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 A.I.D.S., and his mother comes to his bedside: they must speak 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 meets 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

Taglines:

The comedy with a twist. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If They Only Knew See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,669, 3 January 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,956,212, 21 February 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2016, during an enterview, after being asked about kissing Jon Stewart and David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson declared not remembering kissing Stewart, while she gave an "8" to Duchovny. See more »

Goofs

Although Joan's cat is called Blanche and is consistently referred to as "she", the actual animal is a male (tomcat). See more »

Quotes

Meredith: Look, Trent, you're a nice guy, I don't...
Trent: [groaning] Oh, oh, that's - you know...
[heading for the railing]
Trent: I'm swimming to shore, you can call the Coast Guard.
Meredith: Oh, come on!
Trent: Nice guy? That's - I haven't been dismissed with that since high school!
[pause]
Trent: Does that mean no second date?
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 »

Alternate Versions

Trailer includes scenes of sexual encounter between Anthony Edwards and Madeline Stowe. See more »

Connections

References The Graduate (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Glad There Is You
(1941)
Written by Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Mertz (as Paul Madeira)
Performed by Chet Baker
Courtesy of Blue Note Records
A Division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from EMI Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The entire theater stayed put for about 4 minutes taking in all they had seen. On a scale of 1-10, 9...
6 February 1999 | by Starlet4See all my reviews

I saw this movie twice and liked it better the second time. If you like love stories and involved dialogue then this is a flick for you. It is a quadruple love story with a small dose of extra marital affair, a fair look at a husband's search for himself and a sprinkle of mother/son understanding. Six stories to start and you must follow each of them. All of these stories come together at the end in a way that really touches your heart.

Beware of other comments regarding this movie in this area - a couple of commenters have told the entire story. Part of the joy of this movie is to try to figure out how all of these characters connect to each other. I found it enjoyable to see I was right while I watched it all unravel. There's nothing wrong with predictability especially if you're not really *that* sure if you came to the right conclusions before the end.

Angelina Jolie's acting is stunning and her repore with Ryan Phillipe is perfect. I was surprized to see that Jon Stewart is a natural and Gillian Anderson can do no wrong in my eyes. If nothing else, see it for Sean Connery who is always at his best.

I think that people who don't like this movie don't enjoy the mystery of love. "Talking about love is like Dancing about Architechture." How is this so hard to fathom? The story is confusing because love is confusing. That's what this movie is trying to say. "But that's not gonna stop me from trying." These lines are reiterated in the movie: They're said at the very beginning and then the same scene is shown in its proper order. It doesn't take a genius to appreciate it. Some have expressed disinterest in a few of the characters, such as the affair between Madeline Stowe and Anthony Edwards. It's called a family and once the movie is over, we see how they relate at the end. For Stowe and Edwards, one of these hired the other for a job at a party at the end, and an affair ensued. Stowe's husband, Dennis Quaid, thinks she doesn't like him and does some role playing and soul searching because he's been told he doesn't have much of an imagination. He's only trying to figure out where the two of them went wrong. Some have also expressed concern over why the mother/son segments, played by Jay Mohr and Ellen Burstyn, were even needed. This would have only taken some extra attention to the story itself. Hint to those who have not seen it: they were the next door neighbors to "Hannah and Paul" making Jay Mohr the 'boy next door.'

All in all, all the actors do an incredible job and the story is something to see and LISTEN to. Both times I saw it, the entire theatre stayed put for at least 4 minutes taking in all they had just seen. That alone should intrigue you. On a scale of 1-10 I give it a 9.


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