Playing by Heart (1998)
Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 20
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 8
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 19,829
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.
Dec 30, 1998 Wide
Oct 2, 2001
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Carroll's characters spend so much time talking, albeit intelligently, that the connections they make seem peculiarly synthetic.
This charming romantic comedy with a Los Angeles setting cuts between seemingly unconnected miniplots the way some Robert Altman movies do.
All of these characters are more interesting when things are going badly for them than when the tide has turned, and Carroll's determination to make the final reel an extended bout of audience tummy tickling is disappointingly conventional.
If Playing by Heart is the kind of film that used to be known as a "woman's picture," it certainly provides more emotional nourishment than most other mainstream movies generate these days.
For all its artificiality, Playing by Heart percolates with an earnest charm.
[It's] n tune with the current trend toward movies that coddle the audience with reassuring sentiments.
A very slight and inoffensive movie. It's a lot like L.A. itself, all surface, soothing and warm.
The brightest spot belongs to Angelina Jolie, who is so compelling to watch she has chemistry with the furniture.
Playing By Heart tries hard and sometimes succeeds -- and Jolie is terrific.
The dozen or so lead characters of Playing By Heart fear silence the way Biblical people feared locusts.
An underrated, dreamy drama about love, lust and infidelity amongst inter-connected Los Angeleans. Jolie rises to the challenge.
The lack of time gives the last reel a fakey, tied-up-with-a-bow feeling, but good performances and a good script make this an enjoyable little romance.
An intriguing patchwork of relationships converges into a portrait of modern love in Playing By Heart, a wry, satisfying emotional saga.
A heavily mixed bag; high points come with Jon Stewart's sweet courtship of Gillian Anderson and a brilliant turn from a young unknown named Angelina Jolie.
The script's overall artifice, combined with a convenient burst of "I love yous" and an all-too-obvious surprise ending, work to undermine an otherwise interesting concept.
Willard Carroll's cleverly interconnected (sometimes annoyingly so) tale of six different relationships is populated by a horde of big-name stars...
A well-scripted ensemble drama about eleven people in Los Angeles searching for love.
The dialogue makes the episodes diverting a fair amount of the time; it also disguises a script that has virtually nothing interesting or new to say about relationships.
Movies Like Playing by Heart
- Joan: Talking about love is like dancing about architecture.
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