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Playing By Heart [VHS]

VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed Feb. 7 2004
In a strange turn of events, the ending of 'Playing by Heart' will have you wondering what you missed during the first hour and fifteen minutes of the movie. The story centers on several pairs of people, four couples, a mother and son and in a very strange and perplexing role, Dennis Quaid playing several different characters in several different scenes. His work in these scenes shines and harkens back to his glory days, reassuring us that his career is not over by any means. Another stand out role is Angelina Jolie, in one her first appearances. She absolutely radiates and steals every scene, leaving Ryan Philipee and his subtle performance in the dust. Not that it's a bad thing. Her character is sassy and full of life, where his is downtrodden, solitary and dark. Other stories involve a married couple approaching their 40th anniversary dealing with mortality and a bad memory from the past. Gillian Anderson and Jon Stewart play career individuals who are trying to get through awkward moments of their first dates. It's nice to see Anderson play a role that is insecure and troubled rather then her well known persona on X-Files where she is strong and confident. The stories play out their seperate plots and eventually climax with a emotional and uplifting finale that makes anyone whos ever been in a relationship feel something for all these people. I highly recommend this movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It will surprise you how decent this film is Jan. 8 2004
By A Customer
Honestly, I only rented this movie because Angelina Jolie is a goddess and if she were in a telephone booth, I would take it home and watch it. But this movie was actually pretty decent! I'll qualify that in a moment, but for the time being, I'll say this: if you're an Angelina fan, you should see her make her mark in an unlikely charmer of a romantic comedy and satisfy your conscience by realizing that you love her not only because she's hotter than hell, but also because she really is an amazingly unique talent.
Okay, the movie. Decent, as I said. It's got its problems, as do most things like this. First of all is pace: because the movie is a series of intertwined vignettes, some story lines are naturally more compelling than others. What results is a start-stop-start jolt to the movie that can mostly be forgiven on account of an all-star cast. Second of all is the all-star cast: the cast is ultimately bigger than the film is, which isn't an explicit problem except to a director who believes that every film is the sum of all the stars who make up its parts. In the end, there is a feeling that a lot of the talent was wasted on roles that were too small and too trite. The upside is that in this relatively small film, all of the parts are well acted, which saves a tenuously interwoven film from falling flat on its face. The third, and perhaps most unforgivable, problem is the script: because it is painfully chunky in parts, I imagine it only could have taken one or two read-throughs to realize that when words get stuck in people's mouths, it's because people don't normally talk that way. Well-written dialogue doesn't necessarily translate into being a well-written screenplay, and it kills some parts of the movie that could actually have been fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rare, satisfying gem Jan. 6 2004
By A Customer
This movie is fabulous, as it flawlessly portrays the drama, the complexities and, most importantly, the beauty of love. The director seamlessly weaves in and out of the tales of relationships of several different couples.
Joan and Keenan are young fledgling lovers who meet in a nightclub under rather humourous, unique and intriguing circumstances.
Meredith and Trent are battling with the issues involved in middle-aged dating and how to overcome past demons.
Hannah and Paul have been married for years, and are now confronting a crucial turning-point in their not-so-perfect marriage.
Mildred and Mark, a mother-and-son pairing, tear-jerkingly come to terms with the reality of a terminal illness.
Gracie and Roger are using sexual compatibility to disguise emotional loneliness.
And Hugh disguises emotional loneliness in a different way - he ventures out into the world, trying to make something of himself using the only talent he knows.
In essence, the director is to be commended for his skilled use of cinematography, dialogue and music to portray the funny, tender, dramatic and often brutally honest side of love, in all its forms. The actors are by no means amateurs, and bring both depth and realism to their roles.
Overall, most people would be hard-pressed to find flaw with this film. Women and teenage girls will revel in the romance. Men will probably be amused and entertained by the honesty and humour portrayed. And any sentimental soul will probably shed a tear here or there, as they experience the subtle power of this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Playing by Heart - A very special movie! Jan. 3 2004
"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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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars No closed captions
I can't watch it because there is no closed caption for the hearing impaired. Oh well I guess, I should have not assumed there would be.
Published 8 months ago by vanessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Squeal!!
I have always loved this movie. How can you not love a movie with Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Jillian Anderson AND Ryan Phillipe in it
Published 15 months ago by mom of 2 with critters
.....and the screenplay is wonderful as are the actors. There are no fancy camera-angles or MTV editing of high speed(compared to Moulin Rouge and William Shakespeare`s... Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by Henning Sebastian Jahre
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cast, unique movie
Not many people have heard of this movie, much less seen it, which is odd condsidering the number of well-known actors it stars. Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Kristina
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of heart
This is a warm and touching movie. Often when movies try to tell multiple stories at once it's just confusing but this works so well. Give "heart" a chance.
Published on April 5 2004 by Anne La Mont
3.0 out of 5 stars Good breadth, little depth
This movie definitely has a lot of firepower in terms of its stars, the plot lines are interesting, and the characters are appealing. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by B. A. Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars a charmer
if you liked love actually, then you probably will also like
this one. There are separate stories being played, each touching
some aspect of interpersonal... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Amit Sogani
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection? Pretty close
This is possibly the best movie I have ever seen. This movie ties in the stories of many, all eventually connecting in one spectacular plot. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the movie I ALWAYS recommend
This is the movie I always recommend, no matter who asks. My teenaged daughters and their friends have enjoyed as well as my friends and co-workers. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Jeanne Tassotto
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