Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy)
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I think that professional critics are missing the point of a film like this one. They're so busy analyzing movies frame by frame for profundity, hidden meanings and plot twists, looking for that epiphany, that they tend to forget that the rom-com genre, by definition, IS usually somewhat corny, formulaic and predictable.
I wouldn't classify Playing For Keeps as a romantic comedy and perhaps that's part of the problem. If critics went solely by the trailer, they expected pure light-hearted fluff when in actuality it's much more of a family drama with some humor sprinkled in.
Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel & Noah Lomax are totally believable as a dysfunctional family unit. George's vulnerability in some scenes will break your heart and those somber moments featuring George, Stacie & Lewis will bring a tear to your eyes. The supporting cast didn't fare as well although they did fine with what they were given to work with (I blame the writers). The only minor characters I disliked were the husband & wife played by Dennis Quaid & Uma Thurman. What an ugly couple, and I don't mean that in a physical way.
Anyway, for fear of spoilage, that's all I'm going to say about it other than I really enjoyed it and I hope you get out there to see it before it disappears.
That being said, this movie has been a subject of numerous poor reviews from national critics and I would have to say that for some reasons, criticism is justified, but the movie is nowhere near as bad as it is being portrayed. The script is strange. It portrays Butler's character realistically, but occasionally gets farcical at random times. He's a ladies man and always has been. Women flock to him, so when he accidentally ends up coaching his son's soccer team, he becomes the target of many players Mom's; single, disturbed, married, manipulative. Then of course there's the Indian neighbor who seems to have no life, but watching George hosting numerous women from the guesthouse that he is renting.
George is a hard character to like. Although I found his character realistic in portrayal as someone who has numerous women who want him and everybody treating him like a celebrity. Quite simply, he takes it. Most would. Yet, as predictable as the script may be, I found the things that happened in the movie justified. George grows throughout the movie and he battles with his maturity. There are many valuable lessons that many will relate to in the film.Read more ›
Being a good looking guy with an accent, women such as Catharine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer all throw themselves at him. George is not a man accustomed to saying no, but Jessica Biel is a tough act to follow, just ask her if you don't believe me.
This is not a guy's film. Soccer is in the background and knowledge of the sport doesn't make the film any better. This is perhaps a chick flick for people who don't want to get emotional. Might make for a mediocre date night film if you haven't seen "An Officer and a Gentlemen" 10 times already. Good acting. Weak script.
Parental Guide: No f-bombs or nudity. Implied sex. Use of "SOB".
Although I wasn't expecting much, in more skillful directorial hands a first-rate cast populated by Gerald Butler, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta Jones, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Judy Greer should have at least guaranteed a minimum level of weekend watchability.
The story pivots around Gerald Butler's George, a retired David Beckham-esque soccer superstar who has returned to Virginia to reclaim his family and fortune decimated by a decade of bad decisions and bad luck. In an effort to reintroduce himself to his son Lewis (admirably played by Noah Lomax) George commandeers control of Lewis' junior soccer club and while teaching the team real skills inadvertently dampens the wardrobe of the gaggle of soccer moms (Thurman, Greer, Jones) who dutifully attend each practice and now race to bed George.
This is where the film really comes of the tracks as each seduction scene reveals women with such pervasive insecurities and below-zero self-esteem that it is hard to imagine any of them as the accomplished and affluent inhabitants of the take no prisoners Beltway culture that they purport to be charter members of. All in all it's Wisteria Lane meets Hysteria Lame with not even a tangential connection between storylines.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very happy with my rental of this movie. A very light,typical romantic comedy.Published 9 days ago by Suzanne McEwen
Sappy chick flick ticks all of the boxes. I watched it twice in two days! This will be a future purchase!Published 21 days ago by Darla Verlinden
Cute movie. Fan of Butler, Biel, and football. Not a fan of a town filled with scruple-less (?), horny middle-age women all seeking to bang their kid's soccer coach. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel Malek
Jessica Biel is such a wonderful actress. I only wonder why she is so often cast for crap roles.Published 3 months ago by Laurence Matson
Loved this movie! Honestly, I only bought it because it starred Gerard Butler. I fell in love with it because of the storyline. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shari Lyne DuShane
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