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Playing Mona Lisa is a 2000 comedy film directed by Matthew Huffman and starring Alicia Witt, Harvey Fierstein, Johnny Galecki, Elliott Gould, Marlo Thomas, Molly Hagan and Brooke Langton. It is based on a play by Marni Freedman.

Playing Mona Lisa
Playing Mona Lisa.jpg
Directed byMatthew Huffman
Produced byBill Sheinberg
Jonathan Sheinberg
Sid Sheinberg
Written byPlay:
Marni Freedman
Marni Freedman
Carlos De Los Rios
StarringAlicia Witt
Harvey Fierstein
Brooke Langton
Johnny Galecki
Ivan Sergei
Marlo Thomas
Elliott Gould
Music byCarlos Rodriguez
CinematographyJames Glennon
Edited bySloane Klevin
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • May 1, 2000 (2000-05-01)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3 million (estimated)


Everything goes wrong all at once in gifted 23-year-old pianist Claire Goldstein's life. San Francisco has an earthquake, she loses her apartment, her boyfriend Jeremy dumps her and she misses out on an important piano competition.

Claire is forced to move home with her parents (Marlo Thomas, Elliott Gould), where sister Jenine (Molly Hagan) is busy planning a wedding. Claire's mom is into the occult, her teacher (Harvey Fierstein) tries to arrange auditions and friends try to hook her up with a new romantic prospect, Eddie, adding to the complications in her life.


Actor Role
Alicia Witt Claire Goldstein
Harvey Fierstein Bennett
Brooke Langton Sabrina
Johnny Galecki Arthur
Ivan Sergei Eddie / Carl / Ben
Marlo Thomas Sheila Goldstein
Elliott Gould Bernie Goldstein
Tammy Townsend Alice
Molly Hagan Jenine Goldstein
Estelle Harris Aunt Velva
Pat Crawford Brown Grandma Ida Weinberg
Zachary Kranzler Jeremy
Joe Mazza Barry / Bo
Sulo Williams Manny
Sandra Bernhard Bibi Carlson


Development and writingEdit

Based on Marni Freedman's play Two Goldsteins on Acid.


Shot in San Francisco in the spring of 1999. [1]

Musical scoreEdit

Composed by Carlos Rodriguez the film's score includes a variety of music. From contemporary songs to classical piano, salsa, and polka.[2]


Released in San Francisco October 27, 2000.


Shown at Gen Art Film Festival in New York City April 26 - May 2, 2000.[3]

Shown at Stony Brook Film Festival July 19–29, 2000.[3]

Shown at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado February 9–13, 2000.[3]


Fresh rating of 62% from Rotten Tomatoes.[4]


Won Audience Choice Award for Best Feature in 2000 at the Stony Brook Film Festival.[5]

Won Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Actor Alicia Witt in 2000 at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.[5]

Home mediaEdit

The DVD for the film was released on April 17, 2001.[4]

See alsoEdit

  • LaSalle, Mick; Peter Stack; Bob Graham (October 27, 2000). "Film Clips". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  • Blackwelder, Robert. "Playing Mona Lisa". SPLICEDwire. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
  • "Playing Mona Lisa". Retrieved November 14, 2008.


  1. ^ Fox, Michael (October 25, 2000). "Reel World". Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  2. ^ "Playing Mona Lisa". Michael DVD. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Playing Mona Lisa". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Playing Mona Lisa". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Playing Mona Lisa - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 14, 2008.

External linksEdit