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Playing by Heart (1998)

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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 »

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

Throughout the entire movie, whenever there is a scene (and there are many) involving martinis, between shots the olives and level of vodka in the glass change. This happens many time when a character either eats an olive or is about to eat one, it will re-appear in the glass seconds later. Also - many times where the character is starting to say something, and the view is changed to be from their point of view and their lips are no longer moving. See more »

Quotes

Keenan: That's the ugliest cat I've ever seen.
Joan: She's an angel.
Keenan: She only has one eye.
Joan: Yeah, but it's her good one.
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

Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 22 January 1999 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Cigarettes Will Kill You
(1998)
Written by Ben Lee
Performed by Ben Lee
Courtesy of Grand Royal/Capitol Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Woefully Disjointed and Sloppy
23 January 1999 | by rip-5See all my reviews

How did a movie like this ever even get made? "Playing By Heart" has a myriad of notable actors meandering through painfully sluggish dialogue as they define, discuss and detail their individual relationships, ad-nauseum .

Writer-Director Willard Carroll must know where a body is buried in Hollywood, as it is the only explanation for this mess to ever get poured into a motion picture camera. The film jumps between one unrelated story to the other, giving no time for characters or plot to develop. To ensure that the viewer stays completely frustrated, many of the characters develop in directions that are never re-addressed by the film, leading the viewer down several of these meaningless dead-ends. We get to follow Dennis Quaide as he plays out invented characters in a seemingly endless string of bars, all in the name of his acting class. Beware of those who want to pin this film as Sean Connery's best role. Rent "The Untouchables" if you have any doubt. Despite a noble effort by Connery and others, the dialogue and overall sloppy directing will make the viewer hard-pressed to find any real teeth in the characters. "Playing By Heart" is a complete disappointment. It is neither romantic nor insightful. It is plentiful in mediocrity.


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