3 December 2003 | sorabji
Credible piano playing, for once
The movie itself is what it is. A tolerable, at times engaging chick-flick with good writing and a good balance of storylines.
As someone who's played piano most of my life, I usually roll my eyes at Hollywood's depiction of performing pianists. Usually, the pianist sways one way when they should sway the other, they gesticulate extravagently for no reason reflected in the music, or they rotate their arms back and forth like they're churning butter when they're supposed to be playing the piano.
Most of Alicia Witt's playing was believable, presumably because she was actually and in fact playing (she was classically trained and is credited as the performer in the film's credits).
The only exception I noticed: the scene where she's playing the Chopin G minor Ballade while talking in a full, articulate voice to her piano instructor (Harvey Fierstein). Not impossible, but not typical either for a pianist to whip through a pretty demanding piece such as that Chopin and carry on a full-throated conversation at the same time. To me it looked like a Victor Borge routine for just a moment.
Other then that, this film gets high marks from me for its believable piano playing. As for the rest, well, let's just say I wouldn't even be commenting on this film were it not for the goofy scene with the G Minor Ballade.