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Playing by Heart (1998)

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Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in L.A.

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 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 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 <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:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dancing About Architecture 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

Sean Connery took just $60,000 as his salary for "Playing by Heart", as he was keen to play a character his age in a relationship with someone his own age. This was a far cry from the $14m he earned on the previous year's " The Rock ". See more »

Goofs

Up until the end of the movie Angelina Jolie doesn't have her dragon tattoo on her left arm. When all the couples meet for their parents to renew their vows you can then see that she has a red saran wrap heart on her left arm. 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

References Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

An LA Groove
(1998)
Written by Christopher Young
See more »

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User Reviews

People need to watch movies with their mind as well as their time
22 October 1999 | by thehumble1See all my reviews

I was quite impressed with the entire presentation of the film. The characters were well developed, individual, and full of potential and humanity. The relationships were actual and realistic, a wonderful break from the Fantasy of Sleepless in Seattle (or You've Got Mail, pick the title you want). The presentation of people with problems and realistic responses to these problems and the people who are affected by these problems really makes this movie more than a past-time; it is a gift, showing us what we are and what we can become with some work and maybe a small paradigm shift.

Everyone did a wonderful job of presenting real people, Sean Connery found a role which allowed him to be his age but not loose that which he is loved for: sinful good looks and flawless composure. Gillian Anderson was so good that by the end I had almost stopped waiting for Molder to arrive. But for me Angelina Jolie was the centerpiece, as she showed the greatest degree of development and growth, epitomizing the struggle that each person was going through.

To me, the plot was a lot more complicated than just the feelings that develop from watching the movie, and the depth of perception is honestly presented in the comments of the other reviewers; most seem to have watched the movie with so much intensity that they got up 35 minutes into it to go and tell the popcorn boy to give them a new bag because they had specifically asked for NO butter. This movie is cognitive to the degree it is affective. It takes one relationship and divides it up into several stages (seen as the family members' relationships), and in doing so it allows us to see relational development in ways we normally can't, just as we repeatedly see the time of day change against the buildings.

It is funny, it is romantic, but it is true. And I am thankful for its gift of sight: into life, into death.


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