‘Playing for Keeps’ has Gerard Butler grin and bear it
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jessica Beil, Noah Lomax, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer
Written by Robbie Fox
Directed by Gabriele Muccino
New this week from VVS Entertainment is the new Gerard Butler vehicle, playing for Keeps. Butler continues his string of romantic comedies with this tale of a down on his luck former athlete’s attempts to reconnect with his son and former flame. Most of Butler`s romantic comedy fare has been dull and unoriginal to date, will Playing for Keeps fare any better?
In Playing for Keeps George (Butler) is a former star professional soccer player that has squandered many things in his life. His money is gone, his fame is fleeting and he’s lost his former paramour Stacie (Beil) and his son (Lomax) to another man. But in an attempt to reconnect with his son George agrees to take over coaching his son’s soccer team. But the position come with more problems attached to it than he though when he finds himself unable to resist when in scoring position with his players’ restless and gorgeous soccer moms.
Playing for Keeps sadly does not break the string of mediocrity from Butler. The film is not offensive or even terrible, but just bland, unoriginal and predictable. The script plays out almost exactly as you would think and even the mothers played by Zeta-Jones, Greer and Thurman are all just stereotypes you seen many times before. Zeta-Jones the power hungry business woman, Greer’s loveable lonely single mom with Thurman designated to the lonely married woman with the husband (Quaid) she knows is having an affair. Butler sails through the film without exerting much effort, his smirk and charm are auto cruise, as he has played this caricature many times before. Quaid plays the rich guy who buys everything he can and everyone he can, throwing money at George to get things his way, like having making his kid the teams goalie. Of the cast here Beil and Greer actually capture our attention the most. Greer’s natural charm makes her performance much more engaging than the script allows and Beil is actually convincing as the neglected Stacie.
The film set up and premise does contain its own issues and it starts right of the bat. The introductory scenes of Butler’s George playing soccer feature some very spotty CGI and place Butler’s head on body types that aren’t even remotely close. George’s apartment is well beyond the means that the film clearly takes time to establish and his while the fact that he is pursuing a sportscaster position works well, the fact that he is unemployed through most of the film with an expensive apartment and vehicle gives the film a unrealistic feel from the get go.
In the end Playing for Keeps is pretty harmless but also pretty bland. The DVD packs no additional features, just the film, and is available for around $20 at most outlets to purchase. Playing for Keeps is a mild non recommend, yet as rental proposition there are many more offensive and ineffective options out there than this.
Till Next Time
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This entry was posted on March 15, 2013 by moviejunkieto. It was filed under Home Entertainment, Reviews and was tagged with Catherine Zeta-Jones, DVD, Gabriele Muccino, Gerard Butler, Jessica Beil, Judy Greer, Noah Lomax, Playing for Keeps, Robbie Fox, Uma Thurman.
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