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Playing By Heart

4.4 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A sexy, romantic comedy about modern couples coming together in funny and unexpected ways, PLAYING BY HEART features an amazing cast of hot stars! Paul (Sean Connery -- FINDING FORRESTER) and Hannah (Gena Rowlands -- THE MIGHTY) discover that even after 40 years of marriage, they can still learn some very surprising things about each other! Meredith (Gillian Anderson -- THE X-FILES) is a serious theatre director who isn't looking for a relationship ... but has one looking for her in the person of the funny, persistent Trent (Jon Stewart -- JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK)! Then there's Joan (Angelina Jolie -- TOMB RAIDER) and Keenan (Ryan Phillippe -- GOSFORD PARK), young people searching for love in an L.A. club scene where the rules of dating seem to change every night! A witty, charming motion picture that critics loved -- you, too, will fall for this seductive treat!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery, Anthony Edwards, Angelina Jolie
  • Directors: Willard Carroll
  • Writers: Willard Carroll
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, David Witz, Guy East, Harvey Weinstein, Kacy Andrews
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 1999
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000JGOJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,914 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Playing By Heart" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Playing by Heart" is one of those quaint movies that you might never have heard of. I certainly hadn't until cruising around Amazon one day and following a link for Gillian Anderson. Being interested in seeing her in a role outside of "The X-Files" I ordered this film but for whatever reasons, this DVD sat on the rack until recently. Clearly, after watching this, I should've checked it out sooner.
"Playing by Heart" is hinged upon a star studded cast and a casually paced but well timed and written script that plays very well emotionally. One cannot help but think that as an ensemble cast, the majority, if not all of the stars of this film, took a significant cut in pay for doing this film, in effect, showing their shared affections for the script.
On to this stellar cast, let's see, in alphabetical order; Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery, Anthony Edwards, Angelina Jolie, Jay Mohr, Ryan Phillippe, Dennis Quaid, Gena Rowlands, Jon Stewart and Madeline Stowe, WOW! As expected, it was extremely wonderful to see Gillian Anderson outside of the "Scully" role and it will be nice to see her in future films. As is usual with Angelina Jolie, she presents an entirely different character in this film and displays perfectly the range of her acting skills. Overall kudos goes to the entire cast for their collective performances in this wonderful film about life.
High praise goes to Willard Carroll for having written and directed this charming and extremely enjoyable film! This movie apparently won high critical acclaim when it was in the theaters, and it now deserves as much acclaim as it can from those that count, movie watchers who enjoy well scripted and performed movies! The score plays perfectly to the film as well.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This film is one of the best kept secrets at the video store. Anyone who enjoys a good romantic story must see this movie. This romantic comedy-drama focuses on the relationships of various couples. This could've been just another cute little film, but thanks to the witty, intelligent dialogue and the very talented ensemble cast, it is elevated to so much more. Although some of the story lines were less than compelling, it was great to see veterans actors like Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands take such a modest story line and turn it into something really special. Kudos! Didn't someone say "there are no small roles, only small actors?"
Although all the performances were strong, the stand out performances had to be that of Angelina Jolie and Ryan Phillippe. The chemistry between these two young actors was earth shaking. Their screen romance was very touching and endearing. Even though Jolie has the ability to completely dominate a scene, Phillippe, playing his role with subtlety and reserve, was able to hold his own. His performance was so real and moving, that once us men folk can get over the fact that our ladies are swooning over him, we have to admit this dude can act. As for Jolie, I think no one can deny her obvious talent. With this role, like many of her others, she is able to generate so much passion, sensuality, and exuberance. Her larger-than-life persona almost "devours" the film, audience and all. Personally, I enjoyed when Phillippe's character was able to take Jolie's down a couple notches. While I liked the film as a whole, I secretly wanted more screen time for these two actors. Hopefully, soon these two rising stars will be paired again in another picture. Hollywood, you better hop to it while you still can afford them!
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Format: DVD
I don't often shower all the 5 stars in my reviews here at Amazon, but this precious film deserves 6!
An amazing star cast, a theme that will have you guessing until the end how all the entertaining but diverse vignettes are connected, some very mature and intelligent humour, and above all some enchantingly memorable and sincere dialog about life, relationships, love.
Mind you, none of the characters is in a simple straightforward predicament. Angelina Jolie especially pitches in an absolutely stunning performance, although everyone is convincing and memorable in their role.
What a cleverly crafted movie. You know the satisfaction you feel when you've just had a complete meal, that's what I'll bet you'll feel.
Highly recommended absorbing film, for *owning*, not just for seeing once. It's one of those.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When most movies boast of an "all-star cast," what they usually mean is 2, maybe 3 big name actors + a bunch of people you've never heard of. Not so with this film. With the likes of Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery, Madeline Stowe, Gillian Anderson and Angelina Jolie, this one truly lives up to the promise of having a celebrity-filled cast. They could have funded the first manned mission to Mars with the payroll of this movie. Even better, these are all cream-of-the-crop actors, as opposed to being big-name pseudo actors (like Keanu Reeves, for instance).
The story is about 3 sisters (Stowe, Anderson & Jolie), all of whom experience various troubles regarding men. Stowe's character is involved in a passionless marriage; the only way she can feel alive & vibrant is by engaging in a lascivious sexual arrangement with a fellow apartment tenant.
Anderson plays the sister "in the middle" who has been burned by men in her past & is apprehensive and more than a little bit reluctant to "play the field" again.
Jolie's persona, meanwhile, just plain can't seem to find the right guy. She goes thru frequent romances, but never finds a worthwhile partner to hang on to.
In the meantime, their parents are having their own marital troubles. Closing in on their 40th wedding anniversary, they cannot help but summon up ghosts of past lovers.
The tale is presented in a very different way than any other film I have ever seen. We see the characters deal with their individual struggles, then their stories are woven together at the end. This is a fascinating "angle" by which to detail the narrative.
The film is very well done & all of the acting performances, as expected with this ensemble, are impeccable.
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