Friday, June 19, 2009

It's not old if it's new to you: Playing by Heart

This is a new feature I wanted to try out. I've been trying to do some spring cleaning (yes, I'm aware tomorrow starts summer, but I live pretty far north so we're barely getting warm weather yet) and part of that has involved getting rid of boxes of VHS tapes. I wish there was a good place to actually get rid of them, so far my cleaning has involved just looking at my tapes to see which I want to be sure to purchase on DVD or even Blue-Ray. Hence, the title of the post - they're not old movies if they're new to you, and I love so many, and most people haven't heard of a lot of them.
The one I just got it (thanks to on DVD is, Playing by Heart. It came out in 1998 and has a cast that boggles the mind. It's a comedic drama that shows a lot of different kinds of relationships, yet intertwines them in ways that are both surprising, but interesting. Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands play an older couple dealing with reaching their 40th anniversary. Gillian Anderson and John Stewart are a couple trying to figure out how to date the second time around (post-divorce). Ellen Burstyn and Jay Mohr are mother and son trying to figure out how to let go while making their relationship count. They have some beautiful scenes trying to be really honest with each other and Mohr gives my favorite performance, in that for one he doesn't play a jerk or anyone at all smarmy. Oh, and Angelina Jolie and Ryan Phillipe are the young 'uns falling for each other while figuring themselves out. Jolie gives a really funny performance trying to drag Phillipe out of his shell, and they're perfectly matched with their strangely dyed hair. There are lots of dramatic subplots, AIDS, adultery, cancer, etc. , but it's really about how to be yourself while dating someone else. The pace of the movie is terrific, you get long enough segments of each story without dragging you too deep into any single story to make you want to stop watching the other stories. Oh, the movie also stars Anthony Edwards, Dennis Quaid, and Madeline Stowe. I really liked it, and the only thing that dates the movie is a line about NBC winning the Thursday night lineup. Even after watching it so many times, I'd still give it a 4.5 of 5. It's available on Netflix, and it only took a few weeks to get it through SwapaDVD.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Buttercup said...

This looks good and I have no memory of it at all. Hope you have a great weekend. Rain, rain, rain predicted here!

Loodle said...

When did Ryan Phillipe have blue hair...? And is Angelina Jolie crying? Or does she have a sequin on her cheek?

Also, there are some services that will recycle VHS tapes, but you have to mail them in (and some charge a fee for the recycling on top of that).

Jess said...

Yup, Ryan has blue hair throughout the movie, and no Angelina is not crying, that's a jewel of some sort. They're the edgy, bohemian pair in the film.

I'll look into the recycling programs, at least they might not end up in a landfill! Thanks.