Playing for Keeps  (2012)    55/100

Rating :   55/100                                                                     105 Min        12A

A romantic comedy that sees over-the-hill Scottish professional football player George Dryer (Gerard Butler) move to Virginia to spend time with his son and hopefully rekindle something with the kid’s mother, played by Jessica Biel. The film’s biggest problem is it seems entirely confused as to what it is trying to say, and ends up as both completely formulaic and hackneyed, but also spurious and unbelievable in its delivery of the wayward-man-come-good-guy and responsible father routine. Dryer takes on a role as the football coach for his son’s team, and becomes a hit with the desperate housewives and single moms that watch the game. It would have been far better to have simply made this a comedy and had Dryer remain a complete louse shagging his way through the best the town has to offer and still winning the girl in the end somehow. It would have worked well with the pretty impressive cast they have – including Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer, and Dennis Quaid. As it is, they toyed with something interesting but then played it safe and ended up with nothing of much value at all. Not as completely dire as its critical drubbing would suggest though, and it also suffered from opening in the holiday season with all the big Oscar contenders going head to head around it.


Quotes

“This is me with Celtic, 2003, played against Porto in the final of the UEFA Cup. Liverpool, AC Milan, 2005. I mean, what do you think? Pretty good stuff when you put it all together, four medals as well. And then these were the boots I wore when I scored against England when I played with Scotland. Best moment of my life.”   Gerard Butler/George Dryer

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