Sunday, December 9, 2012


"Playing for Keeps" looked like a typical sappy, love story strewn with cameos from a variety of hot Hollywood actors like Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, and Catherine Zeta Jones.  I was expecting another variation of last year's release of "New Year's Eve," again with Jessica Biel.  I was right on one count.  It was a typical, sappy love story.  Thankfully, it was not another "New Year's Eve" though.  That's not to say that I recommend this movie, but at least it wasn't another Garry Marshall movie.  "Playing for Keeps" was about a dad, George Dryer, who moves back into the same town as his ex-wife, Stacie, and son in the hopes of getting her back.  In the course of events, George attempted to grow up and be that father he should have always been.

  How do I review this movie without giving it all away?  I think you can look at the premise and figure 99.9% of the movie out without seeing it anyway, so I'm not going to worry too much about how much I share.  This completely predictable and formulaic movie throws several superficial and uninteresting characters into the storyline to try to give it a complete picture.  It failed.  Butler played George Dryer who was a former professional soccer star.  He was now down on his luck and tried to find a real job as a sportscaster living in an affluent area of Virginia.  George's attempts to be involved in his son's life lead to George taking over his 9 year olds' soccer team.  All of a sudden, the beautiful soccer moms were a bit more interested in their children's soccer life.  As each of them threw themselves on George, he generally could not resist.  He attributed that to the accent.  (I can't disagree with that.  Well, that along with his gorgeous body, irresistible smile, and magnetic blue eyes!)  Yes, Butler was perfect as the attractive soccer dad/soccer coach.  Biel was the perfectly cast natural beauty who was George's ex-wife soon to marry another man.  Yes, you guessed it.  George went through the typical ups and downs of getting to know his son, figuring out how to be a parent again, and bringing along a losing team.  He wrestled with how to win over his soon to be wed ex-wife.  Quaid over-played his part as the wealthy-I'll-do-anything-money-can-buy-me kind of guy.  Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Judy Greer played over the top desperate women, pawing at the chance to sleep with George.  It really was rather pathetic.

I love the game of soccer.  Lord knows I've spent half my life watching my kids play the game including my son at the college level.  I have one very important question that arose from watching "Playing for Keeps."  Where did they get those talented 9 year old soccer players?  Their passing and shooting skills along with their footwork was superior to any high school team I've seen play!  Other than watching snippets of kids playing soccer, seeing Biel's make-up and trying to figure out how she appears to wear very little yet still look gorgeous, and Butler being shirtless in one scene, this movie really isn't worth your time or money.  If you're just wanting to watch a predictable, formulaic, chick flick, wait for the DVD.  Invite your girlfriends over for wine, chat and intermittently watch the movie.  It really isn't necessary to hear all the dialogue.  You could have written it.


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