Playing by Heart

Watch Playing by Heart

"If romance is a mystery, there's only one way to figure it out."
  • R
  • 1998
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 7.0  (20,193)
  • 55

Playing by Heart is a 1998 American romantic drama directed by Willard Carrol. The film features an ensemble cast which includes popular actors such as Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, and Ryan Phillippe. The movie explores the lives of several individuals who are looking for love and meaningful relationships. Their stories start with different beginnings, but they all ultimately converge during a final scene where they come together to celebrate the power of love and life.

The film is centered on the stories of two families – the Hannahs and the Spinellis – who seem to have nothing in common. The Hannah family consists of the matriarch Mildred (Ellen Burstyn) and her two grown-up children – Meredith (Gillian Anderson), a perfectionist who is afraid of love, and Mark (Jay Mohr), a struggling actor who is trying to find his place in the world.

The Spinelli family consists of a retired architect, Paul (Sean Connery), who is still grieving the loss of his wife, and his daughter Gracie (Madeleine Stowe), a successful lawyer who is scared of love and commitment.

The movie follows the intertwining relationships between these characters as each one struggles to find love and connect with others. Meredith meets a handsome stranger, Trent (Johnathon Schaech), who seems to be the perfect match for her. However, she has difficulty opening up to him because of her past experiences with love. Mark, on the other hand, is struggling to make ends meet as an actor and ultimately finds himself working as a hostess in a local restaurant where he meets Joan (Angelina Jolie), a young woman who is dying from a heart condition.

The film also explores the complicated relationship between Paul and Gracie. As father and daughter, they have always been close but struggle to connect on a deeper level. However, when Gracie meets Roger (Anthony Edwards), an AIDS patient who is also struggling to find love, she begins to see things differently.

Playing by Heart is a beautiful movie that uses love as a common thread that runs through all the characters' lives. The film deftly switches between the characters and their stories, effectively intertwining them together for a satisfying conclusion.

The film tackles topics such as love, loss, and the complexities that come with relationships. It manages to explore these themes with a deft touch, not giving in to clichés or quick resolutions.

The ensemble cast is excellent, with each actor giving a standout performance. Ellen Burstyn, as the matriarch Mildred, is particularly noteworthy, portraying a strong and loving character who struggles with the loss of her husband.

Playing by Heart is also notable for its clever and insightful dialogue, which is full of witty observations about love and relationships. There are no weak links in the cast, and the well-crafted script is a testament to the talent of its writer and director.

In conclusion, Playing by Heart is a heart-warming and poignant film that is both bittersweet and hopeful. It explores the complexities of love and relationships in a way that is relatable and meaningful. It is a cinematic gem that tells a powerful story through its excellent cast and well-crafted script.

Playing by Heart is a 1998 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 55.

Playing by Heart
Where to Watch Playing by Heart
Playing by Heart is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Playing by Heart for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (20,193)
  • Metascore