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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
Writer/director Willard Carroll, the director of "Playing by Heart", has constructed a multi storied film where different narratives are seen completely without any idea how they are connected until the end. This device has been employed by other directors, notably, Robert Altman. Whereas Mr. Altman interconnects his scenes differently, Mr. Carroll, keeps the stories separate, only to have them come together at the end.
The director was exceptionally lucky in amassing this talented cast to appear in his film. Viewers of all ages will identify with the different stories since they resonate with different age groups. Most comments submitted to IMDb seem to be from young viewers who think the best thing in the movie are Joan and Keenan. While this couple do a good job, there are other good moments involving some of the other couples we see in the film.
Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands make an excellent couple. Angelina Jolie and Ryan Phillippe do also good work in the film. But Madeleine Stowe and Gillian Anderson have more interesting characters. Same could be said about Dennis Quaid, who makes a mark as Hugh, the tormented man who discovers his wife's infidelity. Anthony Edwards, Ellen Burstyn, Jay Mohr, and a surprising Jon Stewart are among the actors seen in minor roles.
The film will delight audiences because the film catches one's imagination from the beginning.
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