Review: PLAYING FOR KEEPS

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 3 (Out of 5 Reels)

Looking at Gerard Butler for an hour and a half is a good thing but it doesn’t necessarily mean the movie is going to be fantastic.  A former sports star, George (Gerard Butler), who’s fallen on hard times starts coaching his son’s soccer team as a way to get his life together.  Pursuant attractive soccer moms challenge his attempt to become an adult.

I am a fan of Butler’s former roles in 300, P.S. I Love You, Nim’s Island, Law Abiding Citizen, Machine Gun Preacher and, yes, the man can sing because portrayed the Phantom in Joel Schumacher’s movie adaptation of Phantom of the Opera.  There are a number of excellent supporting actors in this film who portray ordinary people of all types.  For example, Uma Thurman as Patti, wife of an overbearing and controlling husband (Dennis Quaid) who is a real jerk because he believes being rich entitles him to expect everyone to do his bidding.

A standout to me is Judy Greer as Barb, a woman who has low self-esteem but is absolutely infatuated with George.  Greer is perfectly cast in her role because I think most women can relate to her plight.  Most of the women who come into contact with George want his attention which distracts him from the real reason he has returned, to reconnect with his son, Grant (Aidan Potter) and wife, Stacie (Jessica Biel).

This film is absolutely nothing new to this genre and I thought it dragged quite a bit in the middle.  I also absolutely hate it when all, and I mean all, of funny parts of a film are put into its trailer which is exactly what happens here.  Although the plot is mediocre and the acting is adequate overall I did enjoy this film primarily because of Butler but he barely holds this one together.  I hope to see something new from Butler in the future and not the same formulaic romantic comedy.  I noticed he also produced this film so we can only hope that since he is running the show so to speak that he will make better choices into the future.

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