Playing for Keeps - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Playing for Keeps Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 30, 2013
Oh my...such low ratings. This was very sweet, and romantic. Typical chick flick stuff. (totally unrelated side note--Gerard Butler is unbelievably hot in this). ;)
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2013
Adequate but all over the place. The ending is sappy and it wastes several fine actresses in nothing parts.
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2012
There are some big actors in this movie and that is one of the main reasons I wanted to watch the movie. But even they couldn't save the film. It's not the best movie I have seen come from the actors, but still not the worse. The movie is quite predictable and one of those cookie cutter rom-coms that I tend to loathe so much. But still, it wasn't eye rolling worthy so I have to give it a little bit of props. It's a cute film but nothing special going on here. It's probably not something I would see again.
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2013
What do you really want?

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?
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2013
Here is another example that a great cast, doesn't make a great movie. Gerard Butler stars as an ex soccer player who returns home to be closer to his son and try to win back his engaged ex-wife played by Jessica Biel. While there he coaches his sons soccer team and all kinds of shenanigans ensue with the fellow parents. Catherine Zeta Jones, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid, and Judy Greer all costar, and all of them ham it up and go overt the top. This is a romantic comedy that starts out just OK, then goes off the wheels and doesn't really know what is wants to be or be about. It runs at an hour and 45 minutes, which is way too long, and probably a reason this movie ends up not being good. Butler is probably the best thing here, but even here he isn't at his best. My wife fell asleep, and if she doesn't make is through a chick flick movie, then usually that's a good sign it isn't good at all. Give it a chance if your in the mood for an incoherent comedy with little laughs. Otherwise just skip it .
Super Reviewer
½ December 7, 2012
I honestly don't have a whole lot to say about this film, because it is terrible, but harmless. If Gerard Butler wants to keep settling for these kinds of movies, fine, but I know he is capable of more. In this film, Butler stars as George, a former professional football (soccer) player, who was forced to stop after an injury. He has faced hard times since, including divorce from his wife (Jessica Biel), despite the fact that they both had a child together. Now, with few options financially, George takes up the position as his son's head soccer coach. In doing this, he attracts several of the soccer moms, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer. During this time, George contends with each of them, along with a soccer dad played by Dennis Quaid. Going further, George finds himself in a position to get a sportscasting job for ESPN, yet he still has to consider what it would mean for spending time with his son and possibly making up with his ex.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2012
Brimming with 300 reasons to despise it, the Ugly Truth about Gerard Butler's latest is that it's Playing for Keeps with atrociousness. Someway somehow, this star shot from career-making testosterone superhero to career suicide rom-com bottom feeder in no time flat. It's not that he doesn't color in the lines of what the genre requires-it's just that the lines are dotted with dreadfully lazy writing. Formulaic to the point of being Easy Bake, this connect-the-dots dramedy would have debuted on ABC Family were it not for the A-List cast...okay, formerly A-List. The only logical explanation for their participation in this project would be if their quick-paycheck-smelling financial planner said, "Goooooooooooooal!"

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.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2013
Such a big star cast, wasted!
½ December 8, 2012
Reveals more about the shallow & silly worldviews of Hollywood film-makers than it does about real people. The characters in the movie are crude stereotypes. The whole cast deserved a lot better story and script.
August 23, 2013
I watched this movie and didn't hate it while it was on ... and that is perhaps the best thing I can say about Playing for Keeps, a dramedy starring Gerard Butler (Dracula 2000) as a retired soccer star who reluctantly takes on the role of head coach for his son's soccer team as a way of spending more time with his son and bonding with him. I cannot tell one much more about the movie as it is a forgettable film and there is little here to recommend. Butler plays George, a divorced man living it up as a playboy in the smallish town he has moved to in order to be closer to his son. When his financial situation gets tough, he takes on the additional job/role of coach and gets to flirt with all of his players' mothers (score!). The film is formulaic and predictable although (also) never disastrously awful. George's ex-wife, Stacie (Jessica Biel - The Illusionist), is still friendly towards her ex but she begins to grow somewhat jealous of the attention he wins from the other ladies played by Judy Greer (13 Going on 30), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment) and Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction). Zeta-Jones works for a television station and George dreams of being an on-air sports anchor/pundit while Thurman is a rich housewife with an opportunistic but jealous husband played by Dennis Quaid (Frequency). Guess where these relationships go? I'd give you two guesses but you'd only need one. One could read the box cover of the movie and know what'll happen. This is another film in which the central couple -- exes -- flirt and realize that their relationship wasn't as bad as they had believed it to be. This is also yet another film in which a genuinely nice guy -- not George, but Stacie's fiancÚ Matt (James Tupper - Me and Orson Welles) -- is horribly wronged but audiences don't seem to mind. This says a lot, does it not?
½ August 15, 2013
The fact that Playing For Keeps received such poor reviews doesn't surprise me because movie critics are some of the most closed minded individuals on the planet and this movie doesn't fit into one of their predetermined little genres. It is too raunchy to be a family movie, doesn't focus on relationships or drama enough to be a romantic-comedy, doesn't involved enough soccer to be a sports movie, and doesn't have the proper type of humor to be dude movie. What it is, however, is just an all-around decent film. There's nothing great about it but it does everything pretty good. The cast is great, though they are a bit underwhelming and underutilized in the film, and they provide solid performances, albeit a bit cliche. The plot is decent enough to keep you engaged. Is it predictable? Of course it is but so are 99% of movies made nowadays so that's nothing new. All in all, I think most open-minded viewers will enjoy this as a pretty good all-around movie, nothing more, nothing less.
June 19, 2013
"Playing for Keeps" has a decent balance between humour and romance, with the two main characters being played by Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel. Also, it is one among the few American movies that feature soccer as one of its elements. Its originality is guaranteed to give plenty of enjoyment.
April 21, 2013
Glad I only paid 1.99 to see it. This must have been a movie these actors did for a vacation or something.
April 20, 2013
Pretty standard fare, although less hokey than a lot of romantic dramas I've seen. Gerard Butler is likeable, but for the most part this is really not anything new or all that entertaining. It's cute enough, but there's not enough plot and I found myself waiting for it to be over.
April 8, 2013
The critics were right on this one. There were so many random pointless parts that didn't go anywhere that it ruined any plot it had going at all. It has an all-star cast but Butler and Biel were the only thing worth watching. Quaid and Thurman were obnoxious and pointless. Gabriele Muccino has directed brilliant movies in the past like Seven Pounds and a Pursuit to Happiness, but this was just sad. I mean, overall it was somewhat entertaining, but you definitely expect more.
½ March 12, 2013
These are actors due a break. Unfortunately, this comedy-drama about a kids' soccer coach boinking a bunch of desperate housewives doesn't appear to be it. an average rom-com/rom-dram
½ March 9, 2013
Another turkey for Gerard Butler, following the craptastic Chasing Mavericks. In Playing For Keeps Butler is a former soccer star trying to connect again to his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and their son (Noah Lomax), and so he starts to fill in as soccer coach for his son's team. Seems like that couldn't be uncontroversial until director Gabriele Muccino tosses a bunch of women at him and suddenly the movie wants to be Alfie, all of the actresses playing demeaning parts, good actresses too that include Judy Greer, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It's just plain awful, there's nothing more to explain. Stay far, far away.
½ March 7, 2013
This was a very sweet story. I love sappy chick flicks like this one. The best always have a happy ending and this was no exception.
½ December 3, 2012
Eh, this movie was mediocre. It started out really slow. I didn't feel like the characters really connected. I also didn't like that George (Gerard Butler) wanted his ex (Jessica Biel) back, but he was sleeping with the other soccer mom's. It didn't make sense to me. All in all, cute for the time being. I won't be watching this again though. Typical romantic comedy.
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