Playing By Heart

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

Writer Willard Carroll has come up with a very unique and often touching drama in PLAYING BY HEART. The film is centered around the complex lives of three women, Meredith (Gillian Anderson), Gracie(Madeline Stowe), and Joan (Angelina). All become involved in different types of love relationships with very different types of outcomes. Meredith's story seems the happiest as she interacts with a charming well to do architect(Jon Stewart), while young Joan finds the love of her life(Ryan Phillippe) at a disco club, but he has serious problems. Gracie, who is married with children , is involved in a tension filled illicit sexual affair with a married minister. There are also some uplifting subplots featuring an elderly couple played by Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands, and a mother (Ellen Burstyn)comforting her homosexual son dying from aids . A humorous element is added as Dennis Quaid, a married man, frequents bars and specializes in tall tales. The stories of these various characters come together in a surprising climax. Audience reaction will probably be mixed to this rather moving, engrossing film, but it just might do fairly well at the box office.

Some of the film's characters engage in premarital sex which us again presented to the movie audience as acceptable. Gracie ignores the fact that her adulterous affair is morally undesirable and, since her lover is a minister, this casts a negative light on the ministry. Joan lives an uninhibited, sexually promiscuous life, but finds herself giving sacrifically to her new found suffering boyfriend. Meridith is reluctant to be becoming sexually involved with her new architect friend, but they eventually do become sexually intimate. The film's elderly couple lovingly try to resolve an old infidelity dispute and exchange wedding vows again at their 45th anniversary. Also, two women show support for men close to them who have the aids disease, but there are no negative connotations associated with the homosexual lifestyle. Sex is discussed several times in fairly explicit terms, and sex is implied in a few moderately explicit bedroom scenes, but no nudity is shown. Joan in particular has a foul mouth and spews out many obscenities, and profanities are also included in the dialogue. In essence, these characters are loving , caring persons who have serious moral defects and desperately need the presence of Christ in their lives. Unfortunately, blatant obscenities and profanities and a few misleading messages destroy the desirability of this introspective , sensitive drama.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Miramax Films , 375 Greenwich, NY,NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many(12) -Mild 9, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Many(30) Times ( f word 18, S word 9, Other 3)

Profanity: Several (6) Times- Regular 5(G 2, J2, C1),Exclamatory-Once(OMG

Violence: Few times-Moderate( Women strike men in anger)

Sex: Implied- Few Times ( man and woman in hotel room in underwear-fairly explicit)

Nudity: Near Nudity-Few Times(Woman in low cut dresses; man/ woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many Times-Moderate( Sex discussions between men and women, transvestite in bar portrayed, reference to genitals)

Drugs: Many Times-Cocktail and wine drinking in bars, clubs, restaurants and homes

Other: Harmful effect of Aids depicted,slang word for urination(pee) used, women sacrifically love men with Aids, loving elderly couple portrayed, minister involved in affair)

Running Time: 121 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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