Playing by Heart (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Ensemble Film, Romantic Drama, Slice of Life  |   Release Date - Dec 30, 1998 (USA)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Sophomore writer/director Willard Carroll weaves together an all-star cast in interlocking stories about finding love in Los Angeles. The film's theme is spoken by young club-hopper Joan (Angelina Jolie). Taken by the mysterious Keenan (Ryan Phillippe), she tells him that "talking about love" is like "dancing about architecture" (the original title until the studio thought it would be confused with Dancing at Lughnasa), meaning speech is not the medium to adequately express the details of love. They all try, anyway. Others up for the dance include a TV cooking-show hostess (Gena Rowlands) and her husband (Sean Connery) who still fight over his one brief infidelity 25 years earlier; two lovers (Madeline Stowe, Anthony Edwards) who discuss their unhappy marriages; and a theater director (Gillian Anderson) and her architect, Mr. Right (Jon Stewart). Also searching are Dennis Quaid, Nastassja Kinski and Patricia Clarkson. For a familial sort of love, there's Ellen Burstyn as the estranged mother to her son (Jay Mohr) dying of AIDS.

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Keywords

AIDS, extramarital-affair, family, husband-and-wife, love, marital-problems, architecture