“Playing by Heart”
A Feel Good Movie
I don’t understand how I missed “Playing by Heart” until recently. It is positively delightful and charming with a wonderful cast. We watch eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in Los Angeles. Mark (Jay Mohr) is dying of AIDS and his mother (Ellen Burstyn) comes to his bedside and they need to talk openly and honestly. Other characters include Sean Connery (Paul) and Gena Rowlands (Hannah)
as an older couple. Rowlands discovers that Connery considered having an affair during their forty year marriage and she has to deal with it. Keenan (Ryan Phillippe) and Joan (Angelina Jolie who gives a wonderful performance) are two club kids looking for companionship in a cold world. Jolie shows great emotion in her role and together the two are a very “hot” couple. Gillian Anderson plays a lonely theater director and John Stewart is a lonely architect. The two play their roles with a chemistry that makes them totally convincing. Then there is the most ridiculous of the couples, Madeline Stowe and Anthony Edwards. They play a married couple who cheat on each other but we never know much about them, Last is Dennis Quaid, a loner who spends his time in bars telling stories to anyone who will listen to him
In the end all of the stories come together in a very clever way. The story has its weaknesses but the characters carry the film and the acting is excellent throughout. “Playing by Heart” took me quite by surprise as there is not a single dull moment on the screen. We do often see films about how to maintain relationships and it deals with the meaning of love and how far someone will go for love.