Customer Reviews


256 Reviews
5 star:
 (73)
4 star:
 (77)
3 star:
 (55)
2 star:
 (31)
1 star:
 (20)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing For Keeps is NOT a romantic comedy
I saw this in the theater with my mother yesterday afternoon. I'm not going to try to tell you that Playing For Keeps is an Oscar contender (it's not) or that it's not corny, formulaic or predictable in spots (it is). It's certainly not on a par with Mr. Butler's previous films Coriolanus or Machine Gun Preacher, nor did I expect it to be.

I think that...
Published 19 months ago by N. Lamica

versus
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I PROMISE I WON'T CRY
George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is a retired soccer star living in Virginia to be near his son living with his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel). George still loves his ex and doesn't take the news of her up coming wedding too well. Having financial difficulty causes George to coach his son's (Noah Lomax) mixed league soccer team to the joy of soccer moms.

Being a...
Published 18 months ago by The Movie Guy


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing For Keeps is NOT a romantic comedy, December 10, 2012
This review is from: Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
I saw this in the theater with my mother yesterday afternoon. I'm not going to try to tell you that Playing For Keeps is an Oscar contender (it's not) or that it's not corny, formulaic or predictable in spots (it is). It's certainly not on a par with Mr. Butler's previous films Coriolanus or Machine Gun Preacher, nor did I expect it to be.

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I PROMISE I WON'T CRY, December 23, 2012
This review is from: Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is a retired soccer star living in Virginia to be near his son living with his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel). George still loves his ex and doesn't take the news of her up coming wedding too well. Having financial difficulty causes George to coach his son's (Noah Lomax) mixed league soccer team to the joy of soccer moms.

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".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I THINK I LIKED THIS BECAUSE IT WAS DIFFERENT, January 3, 2013
By 
Chris Kennison (Jefferson City, Mo United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
"Playing for Keeps" starring Gerard Butler (Phantom of the Opera, The Ugly Truth and many other so-so movies), is about a former soccer star named George that played alongside David Beckham in his hay-day and has fallen far from grace. He's a guy who's a natural at getting things and being given things, but horrible at making decisions, knowing when people are taking advantage of him and growing up. So, when he returns to the hometown of his former love, Stacie (Jessica Biel), to patch things up and reunite with his son, the typical romantic movie story begins to play out.

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. For the most part, being a parent requires a lack of selfishness and that is George's biggest challenge.

Look, I'm not going to call this movie great or anything like that, but romantic comedies are like horror movies these days, they're all the same. I found "Playing for Keeps" unique and I found the characterizations and characters realistic, with the exception of a few times when the movie tried to be silly.

"Playing for Keeps" is certainly a better alternative to the unrealistic portrayal's of men in Nicholas Sparks movies. In Sparks movies, "Dear John", "The Lucky One" and "The Notebook", the men are pristine, they have no depth, they are just perfect people who serve no purpose but to provide motivation for the women that pursue them. At least in "Playing for Keeps", the male character has tremendous flaws and we can all relate because we all do.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wishing for something better, March 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This movie has a lot to like – a nice story, humor, meaningful relationships, etc. Unfortunately, it also features a main character choosing casual sex with several women, none being his ex-wife whom he supposedly still loves. I wish Hollywood would stop portraying casual sex as a joke, or as a "normal" part of life that just happens. I wanted to root for the restoration of a marriage and family, but the film-makers decided to take a twisted path. Too bad, it could have been a real winner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Soccer Mom Dope Opera, April 15, 2013
By 
Michael Neiss (Princeton, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
Soccer is the perfect Playing for Keeps metaphor - slow, meandering and pointless with "extra time" put on the clock for no discernable reason except perhaps, to prolong the agony. Even by the trifling standards of the garden variety romantic comedy, PFK (under the AWOL direction of Gabriele Muccino) offers a redemption and reconciliation tale so poorly told that continuity, script supervision and character development were apparently early morning electives that Mr. Muccino must have decided to blow off.

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.

As if that weren't enough scripted ridiculousness for one sitting, all of these sleepy-time worst behavior hijinx takes place under the jaundiced eye of George's ex-wife (a Jessica Biel mail-in performance) who gamely decides that her naughty boy soccer stud is still the love of her life, compelling her to blow off the sturdy life and relationship that she has created post-divorce - with no plausible rationale as the clock ticks drearily towards the end credits. As an aside, I have too much respect for Dennis Quaid to even delve into his inexplicable presence in this film. Playing for Keeps is just a case of bare minimum expectations not even met.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Virtually unwatchable, March 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This film was truly abysmal. All the female actresses were reduced to slobbering idiots. And Gerard Butler's character had no depth whatsoever. The plot was very thin as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT QUITE A GOAL, March 7, 2013
This review is from: Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
The other day I found myself explaining to my niece what a formula movie was. For those who don't know it's a movie that follows a well used formulaic plot that we've seen over and over again with a twist on it to make it new. This sort of movie feels like we've seen it before with perhaps a different setting or characters, but yes we have seen it before. Gerard Butler seems to be making a living out of these sorts of films with an occasional new film in the mix. That doesn't make these bad films, just predictable, and each time Butler has made one I've found it enjoyable to view.

This time around Butler plays George, an ex-professional soccer player who was once top in the field. Those days are long gone and now he finds himself trying to reconnect with his son Lewis (Noah Lomax), a boy he's neglected for some time since he and his wife Stacie (Jessica Biehl) divorced. Taking him to soccer practice one afternoon George is stunned at the inept coaching the team is receiving. Stepping in he begins to teach them the right way to play which eventually lands him the job of coaching the team.

But coaching the team isn't the only thing George ends up doing. This group of soccer moms all find themselves hot for the coach. Not only that one of the fathers (Dennis Quaid) sees him as a possible friend and definitely someone he can take to a party to impress potential clients. Quaid goes so far as to reveal that he's having an affair but at the same time jealous of anyone who might take an interest in his wife (Uma Thurman).

Seeing a possibility of things finally going right for him, George might not say he hopes to return to his ex-wife but you can see it in his eyes. That falls apart when he finds out that in three weeks she's getting married to Matt, the man she's been with for the last three years. It seems George's timing is always off.

That comes to light again when he gets the chance to audition for ESPN as an announcer. If he gets the job it means leaving once again. As the film progresses, that becomes something harder and harder for him to do as he finally begins to build the bond with his son that should have been there from the start. Will he stay and work on his family life or go to ESPN? Will he find a way to win back the heart of his ex? Will he be able to stop the advances of nearly all the soccer moms? Being a formula film the answer to these questions is easy. The enjoyment lies in seeing how it plays out.

The movie is an enjoyable film to sit back and watch. Butler is a natural in roles like this but my guess is he'd love a bit more of a challenge. Biehl is lovely as ever and displays a great acting ability, one that is shown by making a believable character. Over the top theatrics can kill a performance. Here, she comes off as just who the character is.

Well made, well shot and predictable, the movie doesn't offer a whole lot that is new. While those who like formulaic films will take comfort in that, it also can lead to a movie that's nothing to get excited about either. I found myself wanting to like this film more but found it little more than light entertainment. It might make a nice film to watch for an evening but my guess is other than Butler and Biehl fans it won't be sitting on too many shelves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars don't bother, May 24, 2013
By 
Redheath (Cold Northeast) - See all my reviews
I'm a Gerard Butler fan, but what was he thinking? Don't waste your time on this one. Boring plot and lackluster characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dumb no substance, April 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
dumb. formulaic and for all the big name actors...it was a dud. highlight was seeing gerard butler's abs tho. other than that...a waste of my money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars JUST AWFUL, PREDICTABLE GARBAGE, April 24, 2013
This review is from: Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
I like Gerard Butler and generally enjoy his films, but this one was just plain BAD. I couldn't believe all the A-list stars who were in this film! Maybe the original script was much better when they signed on to do the movie? Besides the truly awful script that is absolutely predictable from the first scene to the last, Gerard Butler looks like he had a hangover in real life while they filmed the ENTIRE movie. Even pretty Jessica Biel looks washed-out and old in this one. It's quite a contrast to Catherine Zeta-Jones who looks stunning and well-rested. It makes me wonder if Gerard and Jessica went out drinking every night after shooting ended for the day? Who knows? I rented this film from Redbox, and believe me, it wasn't worth the $1.25 I spent!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy)
Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) by Gabriele Muccino (DVD - 2013)
$19.99 $12.96
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.