7.0/10
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194 user 78 critic

Playing by Heart (1998)

Trailer
0:26 | Trailer
Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in Los Angeles.

Director:

Willard Carroll

Writer:

Willard Carroll
Reviews
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 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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,669, 3 January 1999

Gross USA:

$3,970,078

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,970,078
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

This movie contains spoilers for Midnight Lace (1960), Citizen Kane (1941), Psycho (1960), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). 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: Well, That doesn't take long does it?
Trent: What doesn't?
Meredith: I mean, you turn a guy down a-and WHAM. he just metamophoses into an anger ball.
Trent: An 'Anger ball'?
Meredith: See.
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 »


Soundtracks

Surrender 2 Love
(1990)
Written by Ottmar Liebert
Performed by Ottmar Liebert
Courtesy of Higher Octave Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
At best...not bad.
29 November 2010 | by marian_chuang2004See all my reviews

No one I know has heard of this movie, and that's a shame. Somewhat. The film's huge cast is similar to the better-known Love Actually, with the eclectic mix of seemingly-unrelated characters who finally congregate together in the end. It's also got a British actor (Sean Connery) to boot, as well as some big stars like Angelina Jolie and surprisingly, Jon Stewart (being a lot more romantic here than on his Daily Show, of course). But Playing by Heart isn't that funny, which may be why it's escaped everyone's ears. It's undoubtedly a well-made film, but it just didn't leave me gushing with praise. The acting was good, and the tribulations and angst the characters felt were real and at times somber (especially the poor man dying of AIDS), but the film left no lasting impression on me. The humor was rare and the drama on the dry, "oh well, too bad" or (in monotone) "wooo, problem solved, happiness for all" side. But then, I'm a finicky watcher and I admit, a borderline pretentious critic. Since I didn't dislike the film, it probably means most people will enjoy or even love it, so I give this a 7/10. Just don't watch it expecting to burst into uproarious laughter or a free flowing sob-fest. You'll most likely chuckle here and there (like when discovering John Stewart's bed buddy) and feel sorry for those afflicted with disease, who, for me, are the only truly touching characters in this not-bad, not-contrived, not-unimpressive film.


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