Playing By Heart, Playing By Heart Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo

Playing By Heart

Slices of life as written and directed by Willard Carroll, only serves, as a slice of romance, a slice of drama and a slice of comedy. With bits and pieces to add up to a whole. Unfortunately for the audience with a star-studded cast, it can only be a weak cardboard of characters. If Willard Carroll had concentrated on the Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands segments more and the Ryan Phillippe and Angelina Jolie (fresh from her Golden Globe Awards of “Gia”), he would have had a terrific movie, but by the time he gives all his other gifted actors a word or two, he is left with Dennis Quaid, Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Jay Mohr, Anthony Edwards, Madeleine Stowe, Jon Stewart, and Nastassja Kinski, he is left with really a brevity of sorts for what should have been a romantic comedy.

I must say that it is refreshing to find Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands as a couple that is about to celebrate its 40th wedding anniversary. Of course heavy heavy hangs over their heads from a previous affair 25 years ago, a bit much to ask modern day audience to swallow, but just seeing this two pros handle their scenes is a joy, after all it about time that 007 had a woman to match his masculinity, and Rowlands is all that.

It is a delight to see a star explode in the nebulae as Angelina Jolie does in this flick, you keep waiting for her return to the screen and of course she is handsomely aided by Ryan Phillippe. You have star dust all over the floor and some very luminous hot flashes, but they don’t sustain the expectation.

Playing By Heart
Miramax Films
Intermedia Films

Gillian Anderson ------------ Meredith
Angelina Jolie --------------- Joan
Madeleine Stowe ----------- Gracie
Anthony Edwards ---------- Roger
Ryan Phillippe -------------- Keenan
Gena Rowlands ------------ Hannah
Sean Connery -------------- Paul
Dennis Quaid -------------- Hugh
Ellen Burstyn -------------- Mildred
Jay Mohr ------------------- Mark
Jon Stewart ---------------- Trent
Patricia Clarkson ---------- Allison
Nastassja Kinski ---------- Melanie

Directed ------------------- Willard Carroll
Written by ----------------- Willard Carroll
Produced by -------------- Willard Carroll, Meg Liberman, Tom Wilhite
Executive producers ----- Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair, Paul Feldsher
Co-producers ------------- David Witz, Kurt Albrecht
Camera -------------------- Vilmos Zsigmond
Editor ---------------------- Pietro Scalia
Music ---------------------- John Barry
Costume designer -------- April Ferry
Associate producer ------ Kacy Andrews
Assistant director -------- Cas Donovan
Casting -------------------- Meg Liberman
MPAA rating: R
Running time: 121 min

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Original Date 6 February 1999