Director: Gabriele Muccino
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid
b! Says: *
Playing For Keeps gets the red card
Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel aside (they’re not exactly at the top of the talented actors food chain), it’s easy to think that a movie starring Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta Jones, Judy Greer and Dennis Quaid is going to be a decent, if not a good watch. Don’t be fooled. ‘Playing For Keeps’ has seasoned stars delivering performances that even actors from direct-to-video releases could do a better job at.
George Dryer (Butler) is a football star far past his glory days, who’s struggling to make rent and spend quality time with his nine-year-old son Lewis. He lands himself a job as the coach of his son’s team and soon catches the eye of soccer moms Patti (Thurman), Denise (Jones) and Barbara (Greer). George still nurses a soft spot for his ex-wife Stacy (Biel), but that doesn’t stop him from bonking sexy moms on the side.
In one scene, George’s landlord asks him how he manages to bring home so many gorgeous women and he answers that an accent helps. We’re inclined to think that that is also the only reason why we like Butler in the film. The women are less impressive. Thurman and Jones play tired-looking desperate housewives and Biel simpers and sighs her way through. Greer is the only ray of sunshine, playing a kooky single mom and bringing a smile to your face whenever she’s in the frame. George’s son Lewis is also played by a cute kid but it’s hard to digest, that a nine-year-old understands the word ‘plethora’ and uses in casual conversation with his father.
‘Playing For Keeps’ is a rom-com that gets the red card from us. Sit this one out.