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Teen Movie Critic - II

Playing by Heart



Playing by Heart
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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 total strangers.

There's a 30-year oldish woman, Meridith (Gillian Anderson, better here than in 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 made-up stories.

My Rating = Two Stars

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