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Playing By Heart [DVD] [1999]


Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Playing By Heart [DVD] [1999] + Gia [DVD] + Taking Lives (Director's Cut) [DVD] [2004]
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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: PAL
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Disney
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb 2002
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U1XV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,123 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Written and directed by Willard Carroll, this romantic drama focuses on the lives and loves of a seemingly disparate group of Los Angelinos. Paul (Sean Connery) and Hannah (Gena Rowlands) have been married for forty years, and are coming to terms with a recent diagnosis which identified him as having a brain tumour. Meredith (Gillian Anderson) is being romantically pursued by the madcap Trent (Jon Stewart), whilst twentysomething clubbers Joan (Angelina Jolie) and Keenan (Ryan Phillippe), are trying to find love in a scene that is ravaged by drugs and AIDS.

From Amazon.co.uk

Playing by Heart is an amiably amorphous comedy-drama about a myriad of articulate and witty people pondering the meaning of love. It was originally titled Dancing About Architecture, since, as one of the lovelorn puts it in trying to explain the elusive nature of desire, "Talking about love is like dancing about architecture". However, with the way the characters in Willard Carroll's film talk, it sounds like they could dance a samba around Frank Lloyd Wright. This undiscovered gem doesn't have a particular destination in mind, as it weaves in and out of the stories of its high-profile ensemble, but it does offer some hilarious, sharp dialogue and quiet surprises.

Carroll focuses his film on four couples, all in one way or another battling with the problems of relationships, ranging from long-marrieds (Gena Rowlands and Sean Connery) to Gen-X club-hoppers (Angelina Jolie and Ryan Phillippe). Ostensibly, part of the film is invested in the mystery of how all these characters are interrelated, but keen viewers will be able to discern the connections among them all. It's the uniformly excellent performances, though, that make Playing by Heart compulsively watchable. Most striking, surprisingly enough, are Jolie and Phillippe, the youngest members of the cast who reveal heretofore hidden depths of talent. Jolie in particular increases her already-soaring stock as an actress. Equally impressive are Gillian Anderson and Jon Stewart, who transcend their yuppie personas in their awkward enactment of the timeless dating rituals. Other cast members, including Dennis Quaid, Anthony Edwards, Ellen Burstyn, Jay Mohr and the always-luminous Madeleine Stowe, are quite good, though saddled with story lines that are occasionally less than compelling. The only complaint you'll have is that once everyone's connections are revealed, you'll wish this cast had more of an opportunity to interact. The journey toward the film's bittersweet end, however, is marvellous in and of itself. --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
11
4 star
7
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
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See all 18 customer reviews
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Dec 2001
Format: DVD
This is, if I'm honest, a bit of a chick flick! However, please give this film a chance. It is a sweet and ultimatly rewarding romantic comedy. It revolves around the lives of three sisters and their parents, finding love and in the process of this finding out about themselves. This may sound corny and like the descriptions of many rom-coms before it but the superb acting and ingenuitive use of storytelling that the diector employs makes this film a cut above the rest. I, personally, loved this film. It showcased the acting talents of Gillian Anderson and Angelina Jolie (post X-Files and fame respectively) and managed to not only make me laugh but also cry.
Give this film a go, I think that you will be pleasantly suprised! The DVD includes all the usual extras and wil;l become an essential part of your collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
The film revolves around four relationships, all given roughly the same amount of screen time, and all dealing with the problems of relationships in contrasting ways.
The older generation are represented by Paul (Sean Connery) and Hannah (Gena Rowlands) squabbling about a love affair Paul had twenty five years ago as they approach their fortieth wedding anniversary. It is a pleasure to see Connery acting a part and not playing himself as so often happens.
Two of the couples Joan (Jolie) and Keenan (Phillip), Meredith (Anderson) and Trent (Stewart) are trying to recover from the trauma of failed relationships, Gracie (Stowe) and Roger (Edwards) are cheating on each other, and mother love comes in the form of Mildred (Burstyn) whose gay son Mark (Mohr) is dying of AIDs. There are also other occasional characters that slightly confuse the plot with other problems.
This is a well acted, well directed film, moving and warmly involving, and arriving at a feel good but not sentimental ending that makes for a very satisfying evenings viewing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "soleyeao" on 3 Jun 2003
Format: DVD
Not for the impatient, Playing by Heart is a particularly good example of the complex romantic comedy. The excellent acting complements the apparently disparate -most definitely quirky- plot lines and incisive dialogue. A four star script, slightly weak on characterisation, works due to the presence and competence of the A-list cast.
It's not though; the film for casual watching and to really get anything from the film a fair amount of concentration is essential. Definitely not the movie for everyone you will have few laugh-out-loud moments but should leave the cinema touched and amused.
A solid 5 star movie overall some truly entertaining twists make this well worth your time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. F. Mulligan on 7 Mar 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I have just re-watched this movie and I love it, especially Angelina Jolie and Gillian Anderson, who shows her wonderful acting ability - Of the men I like Jon Stewart who shows that he should really be a leading man in more movies... Yes this is a bit
of fluff - but a very well acted and moving bit of fluff.... i loved it....
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I wondered what made such a superb ensemble appear together in a single movie. Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands, Madeleine Stowe, Dennis Quaid, Angelina Jolie... the list goes on and on, and I'm counting several Oscar winners and nominees. What made them all come together; money? Hardly. After watching the movie, I came to the conclusion that all these guys must have agreed to do this because the script is excellent. Good actors like to play interesting roles in good movies; it must be that simple.

To be honest, I only watched this because I saw Connery's name on the board. I was amazed. I really HATE "chick flicks", and there's a lot of talk about love and life and that sort of thing here... it's a movie made for girls, no less. So what made me like it?

1. The acting is first-rate. Jolie did this only the year before her acclaimed Oscar-winning performance in "Girl, interrupted", and you get the feeling here that she's really getting warmed up. Some times you can't help but think of such shallow roles as Lara Croft or Sara Wayland from "Gone in 60 seconds", but this performance reminds you that she's actually a talented actress. Sean Connery is flawless, of course, and his dialogues with double Oscar nominee Gena Rowland are both deep and interesting. Normally, while your girlfriend cries during scenes such as these, a normal guy is bored stiff. Not so, here, for some reason; it never gets to that point. And how about Gillian Anderson playing against "A daily show" Jon Stewart? Then there's Ryan Phillippe, Jay Mohr, Anthony Edwards... people you'd almost expect to make a mess of it all. What would you say if I told you Phillippe is actually good in this movie? Incredible, isn't it?

2.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By GG on 22 Nov 2003
Format: DVD
That's a great movie. It deals mainly with the unpleasant situations that can arise in a couple's relationship. It makes you feel good knowing that it's not the end of the world if something goes wrong sometime... We are humans afterall!
Lots of great actors and great perfomances. I liked it and I recommend it!
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Format: DVD
Not for the impatient, Playing by Heart is a particularly good example of the complex romantic comedy. The excellent acting complements the apparently disparate -most definitely quirky- plot lines and incisive dialogue. A four star script, slightly weak on characterisation, works due to the presence and competence of the A-list cast.
It's not though; the film for casual watching and to really get anything from the film a fair amount of concentration is essential. Definitely not the movie for everyone you will have few laugh-out-loud moments but should leave the cinema touched and amused.
A solid 5 star movie overall some truly entertaining twists make this well worth your time.
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