"Playing by Heart" is...different. It certainly encompasses
a large variety of age groups with its characters, although
the way the stories tie in at the end seems a little too well-planned
to be realistic.
There's the older couple, Paul and Hannah (Sean Connery and
Gena Rowlands) having it out over an affair the husband had
twenty- five years ago. (Apparently his brain tumor diagnosis
brought all sorts of old skeletons out of the closet for them.)
Then there's the woman who is sleeping with the priest (although
we don't actually find out he's a priest until the end of
the movie). Her husband Hugh (Dennis Quaid) is taking an acting
class so he goes around relating incredible sob stories to
There's a 30-year oldish woman, Meridith (Gillian Anderson,
better here than in "The X-Files") who seems dead-set against
romance, despite one man's desperate attempts to win her attention.
A third young woman Joan (Angelina Jolie) is in exactly the
opposite situation - she's trying to win a guy who wants nothing
to do with her (or anyone else, for that matter).
My mother enjoyed this movie more than I did, probably because
she recognized several of the older actors, like Sean Connery.
She also said it reminded her of the soap- opera "Thirtysomething",
although I thought the ending was a bit too happy for any
soap. (No character on a soap has ever been or will ever be
anything but miserable. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a soap opera.)
I figured out the parts that were obviously intended to be
surprising, but I may just be very good at figuring out movie
plots because I've seen so many! At any rate, "Playing by
Heart" was more or less interesting, and the acting, for the
most part, was adequate (in a few cases, more than adequate).
Quaid, for example, did a magnificent job of telling all those
My rating: 2 stars
Rating: R (For Language)