Playing for Keeps Reviews
Great family movie! An honest movie, well acted, well written and well directed. Somehow refreshing to see a comedy that could it go wrong easily and instead was delivered in a classy and delicate manner. Honesty is the best attribute to describe this movie; it is never over the top, and it doesn't pretend to be what is not. A classic comedy about becoming an adult with a good set of values. Gerard plays his role in a credible tone as all his co-stars, Jessica is fantastic and gives a very strong performance. Special mention to all the secondary characters that played their best with the roles. I wish more movies like this one will get out there and be seeing. Well done and highly recommended.
George is a former professional soccer star who's moved to Virginia to be close to his ex-wife and son. He's broke, jobless, without a plan, and a constant source of disappointment to his son. When he takes over as his son's soccer coach, he has a new connection to the lad. He also gets the attention of three of the players' moms as well as the glad hand of a wealthy dad. His ex-wife's getting married, he has a lead on a sportscasting job, and he finds new ways to disappoint his son. Is there any way he can sort things out?
This is the kind of feel good rom-com that I generally don't seek out, but even I was slightly intrigued by the concept. It is just unfortunate that Dennis Quaid and every soccer mom in this film tried to see who could overact the most. It does not help that Butler's character is an idiot. Somehow, despite once being a superstar in the world of soccer, George is overtaken by the idea of people coming on to him and offering him more than he deserves, which leads to some 'hilarious and sticky' situations and unfortunately causes trouble with his own family. Uh oh, what's George going to do? Well, a constantly dour Jessica Biel is George's ultimate goal, so hopefully she'll be able to realize that her perfectly acceptable fiance is no match for what scruffy George has to offer. Not helping at all is the weird shift between movies. At some points it's a redemption story and other times a sexy farce about crazy soccer moms. I think the movie even forgets it's about soccer at times. Try as everyone does, even poor Judy Greer, who I love and wish could do something in a live-action feature that is as good as she is on Archer, this film is just a schmaltzy slog that is dumb and forgettable. Actually, one last note - Dennis Quaid is embarrassingly bad in this movie and Thurman still tries to top him, just like when she did the same to Arnold in Batman & Robin.
In this PG-13-rated sports dramedy from director Gabriele Mucchino (The Pursuit of Happyness), a has-been former sports star (Gerald Butler) starts coaching his son's soccer team in an attempt to get his life together...oh, and maybe plays the field with the players' moms (Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones).
Biel, Thurman, and Zeta-Jones all exhibit wonderful acting chops...just not in this movie. Here, along with Dennis Quaid playing a kinda sorta heavy who disappears for most of the running time only to return to literally wrestle up a third act, they comprise the equivalent of Goalie of the Dolls. How these stars signed onto this wannabe Afterschool Special based on the pedestrian screenplay just defies logic. From the opening titles, Playing for Keeps colors by numbers like the worst of them, serving up a bad father-making good factory model in the tired tradition of Jingle all the Way.
Bottom line: Retch It like Beckham.