Relationships are often a cyclone of emotions and thoughts that disastrously destroy lives or haphazardly shape paths that lead to new things. In Playing by Heart, the characters experience all these in a short time. While it was a fictional depiction of real situations, much can be gleaned from this film. Being that this movie corresponds with terms in our book the connections are endless.
Joan, a young actress, meets a young man, Keenan, in a club. Almost immediately she begins revealing biographical data, personal ideas, and feelings to him like how her ex- boyfriend sits down to urinate. This is called self- disclosure. This may also have showed that Joan trusted Keenan since large amounts of self disclosure usually happen over a period of time after one gets to know the other person. Realistically one would not disclose such private info in such a short period of time. In the case that someone did the other person would be scared away more than likely. It may be possible that there are people that openly disclose information at introduction. Keenan on the other hand was rather good at withholding information and feelings from Joan. This is called managing privacy. This was more realistic for Keenan to behave such a way given his health conditions. The interesting thing about Keenan is that he wanted to be a part of Joan’s life from the beginning because he saw her first and made his way over to her direction.
The same goes for Roger and Grace. The lack of disclosure they have and the amount of privacy they maintain is key to Grace because that is all she is looking for in him. Roger was Grace’s responsive partner because, he was only geared toward her needs and sacrificing his own needs to please her. At one point Roger thinks he wants to be with Grace, but once everything was out in the open he discovered that he really wants his wife and Grace really did love her husband but didn’t really appreciate him. The full disclosure helped both of them...
Cited: Verderber, Kathleen, et al. Inter- Act: interpersonal communication concepts, skills and contexts.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Carroll, Willard, dir. Playing by Heart. 1999. Hyperion Pictures, 1999.
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