Sunday, June 19, 2016

Playing by Heart: love Jon Stewart :)

Among the characters are a mature couple about to renew their vows (Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands); a woman (Gillian Anderson) who accepts a date from a stranger (Jon Stewart); a gay man dying of AIDS (Jay Mohr) and his mother (Ellen Burstyn) who has struggled to accept him; two young people who meet in a nightclub (Ryan Phillippe and Angelina Jolie); a couple having an affair (Anthony Edwards and Madeleine Stowe) and a man (Dennis Quaid) who tells his tragic life story to a woman he meets in a bar (Patricia Clarkson), but seems to have a strange connection to another mysterious woman. As the film continues and the stories evolve, the connections between the characters become evident.

I love how the movie reveals the connections between the characters, it was done expertly and seamlessly. At first, the couples' narratives stand independently.

Meredith (Gillian Anderson) is a theater director being wooed by an adroit, enamored architect, Trent (Jon Stewart) whom she tries to rebuff at every turn only to finally succumbed. it is explained that her problem in trusting man starts when the guy next door she married so early in age turned out to be gay and they ended up divorced.

Then there is willful Joan (Angelina Jolie) who's trying to catch the eyes (and heart) of sullen Keenan (Ryan Philippe). Joan is an actress wannabe, and she pulls no stop in ensnaring Keenan's interests, including having her sister steals her car to have Keenan walks her home. it turns out that Keenan is keen to be with her, it's only that he has AIDS, transmitted from his now demise drug addict girlfriend. however, Joan rallies for his affection and in the end, Keenan relents for them to be together.

the film also includes the many secret trysts of Gracie (Madeleine Stowe) and Roger (Anthony Edwards) in which Roger is getting frustrated at not having their relationship out in the open whereas Gracie is content to have the affairs as it is. she is however not content with her rather unimaginative husband though.

as for Hugh (Dennis Quaid), he frequents clubs and dining places each night with different sob stories for anyone eager to hear his stories. his stories are often tragic and imaginative that it could only be true that he's lying.

Mark (Jay Mohr) on the other hand is dying in the company of his mother Mildred (Ellen Burstyn). it is terrible for her to find out that he is gay when it is clearly he's nearing his end. she doesn't even get to know her son's partner who died earlier due to AIDS. it was a heartbreaking moment when they openly share honest truth to each other.

The tale is interwoven with a lover's spat between Paul (Sean Connery) and Hannah (Gena Rowlands) over a supposed infidelity on Paul's side which occurred a long time before their daughter was born. It seems that Paul was attracted to a co-worker once and when he decided not to pursue her, he found in himself that he loves Hannah more than ever.

it is revealed first that Meredith was once Mark's wife, and that after attending his funeral, she went back to her parents' home. it is then revealed that Gracie and Hugh are husband and wife, that he's taking improv class just so he could be imaginative as Gracie wanted.


all in all, it is revealed that Gracie, Meredith and Joan are the daughters of Paul and Hannah. all the couples gathered at Paul and Hannah's vow renewal ceremony officiated by Roger, the family pastor. there, they mingled together and Keenan commended Hugh on his imagination for being able to produce great video games, much to the surprise of Gracie. As they danced together, everything turns out well for all of them, except for Roger.

the most likable character in this movie would have been Trent! i love his sense of humor and honest conversation. i mean, you would have a heart of stone not to like him immensely. so is Joan. her persistence is commendable. i do love the scene where she's sans make up and caught vulnerable by Keenan. yet her beauty shines through.

even though Hannah doesn't understand it, I get it when Paul said he realizes his love is much greater for Hannah once he decided not to pursue Wendy. i mean, that is one solid moment of truth, an epiphany even, for you to realize whether the person you are with is worth staying for or not.

i don't like Gracie much. she's selfish.

to sum it all up, this is a nice family movie. about shedding cynicism and mistrusts to be in love, to take it all, the hardships and all that, in the name of love.

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