Playing By Heart

Dir: Willard Carroll
Star: Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, Dennis Quaid, Ryan Phillipe

From the producer of, of all things, The Brave Little Toaster, this has a stellar cast (the above-named are just a few, and there's also an uncredited cameo from some German actress whose name escapes me...), which makes me wonder why it was almost buried here; probably to do with a less than stellar American box-office performance. There are at least half a dozen stories about love of various sorts floating around here, which only really bind at the end -- I'm uncertain whether this is clever or contrived. With so many sagas, averaging maybe 20 minutes each of screen-time, they're obviously limited in depth: Connery has stolen films with less screen-time before, so it's no surprise he comes off well here. As you might also expect, some of the tales work better than others, ranging from the touching to the drippily predictable -- save for the final section, the overall effect is not unlike channel-surfing on St. Valentine's Day. Even this largely unreconstructed cynic had to suppress a sniff or two, although something this sugary probably does need a government health warning.


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