Playing By Heart
Facts and Figures
Run time: 121 mins
In Theaters: Friday 6th August 1999
Box Office Worldwide: $4M
Distributed by: Miramax
Production compaines: Hyperion Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 21
IMDB: 7.2 / 10
Playing By Heart Review
Now on its third (and worst) title in as many months, Heart follows about a dozen Los Angelenos en route to love and/or misery. Among them are Anderson and Stewart as a couple of silly/wacky would-be lovers; club kids Jolie and Phillippe; ice queen Stowe (having an affair with Edwards); and wedded veterans Rowlands and Connery.
The script relies on two things: making you think hard about how all these people fit together (it's actually quite obvious after 30 minutes, though most of the half-wits in my audience were vocalizing "Hmmmm..." and "OH!" frequently). Second, of course, is making you cry. Trying to, anyway. If you're like my wife, the touching poetry read by Burstyn to dying son Mohr will have you all aflutter. If you're like me, you'll think it's cute but overbearingly manipulative. Perhaps that's why 85 percent of our audience was female....
None of this is meant to say that Playing By Heart is a bad film. It's actually pretty funny, and while some actors (Anderson, Jolie, Stewart) are better than others (Mohr--beyond over the top), and some are just plain bizarre (Quaid), the film works well as a whole and is lively from start to finish. Hell, I can't imagine any other director getting Connery to do an impression of a slobbering lap dog (really).
While most other intricate follow-the-plot movies do it better, Heart is one that's worth a look, especially if you're into that weepy sorta thing.
Stewart and Anderson playing with fire.