Movie Review: Playing for Keeps by Jason Burleson

I’ve got to admit, I’m not really one for the chick flick/rom com genre.  I know big surprise, right?  When I first heard I was going to be reviewing this film, I felt I would probably need a small pre-film party in order to stomach it and looked forward to mocking Gerard Butler in my worst Scottish accent afterwards.  However, I like to stay optimistic about movies even when I’m obviously not the demographic in which this film seeks out.  Needless to say, I quickly read a few online synopses on my way to the theater, kept my reluctant scowl to a minimum, and prepared myself for two hours of the wrong gender with their shirts off.  That being said, honestly, it wasn’t all that bad.

Playing for Keeps is a film that fits the genre perfectly. It’s a romantic comedy; Lots of girl tears, horny soccer moms, and eye candy.  The film follows George (Gerard Butler, 300)a retired soccer star with an exciting past but a dull present, struggling to find a way to make ends meet and reestablish a connection with his ex-wife Stacey(Jessica Biel, Valentine’s Day) and his son Lois (Noah Lomax, Mad Love).  After moving back to the US, George takes the opportunity to spend more time with Lois and coach his soccer team.  Seemingly, this is a perfect fit for him, and he begins to impress a lot of the parents, especially the moms: Patti (Uma Thurman, Kill Bill), Denise (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago), and Barb (Judy Greer, Love and Other Drugs).  Dennis Quaid rounds out the cast playing Carl, a comical but jealous husband married to Patti.  Throughout the film, George struggles to get closer to Lois and Stacey while all three soccer moms pursue him and making it increasingly difficult.  In the end, George is offered a job in Connecticut as a sportscaster and is forced to make a choice between what he wants and what he thinks he wants.

After reviewing this movie, I have to say that it is what it is – a chick flick.  It’s okay.  It was enjoyable, but it really just fell into being another movie about a guy trying to impress a girl/kid and the troubles he faces along the way in slow motion with his shirt off.  The plot was not spectacular, but I have seen worse movies.  Gerard Butler is pretty.  I get it. He is charming and there were plenty of girls during the movie swooning over him.  I can see why he ends up in films like his more recent ones. He has to pay the bills. I just really enjoyed him in 300, and that had eye candy for the ladies too.  I really wish he would stop doing movies like The Ugly Truth and P.S. I Love You.  They just make me sad, and not in the “oh you’re so sensitive” kind of way, more like the dead puppies kind of way.  I’d rather just ignore these movies and enjoy looking forward to How to Train Your Dragon 2. 

The cast in this movie is huge, too. However, we all know a movie can’t survive on big names alone and there has to be some content to make it.  I was impressed to learn that Gerard Butler did a lot of the soccer work in this film.  After playing soccer a majority of my life, I know it’s not completely easy for anyone to pick up a ball and do some of the things he did, which is cool.  I was just left unsatisfied with this movie and really can’t say I expected anything different.  Oh, and Uma Thurman looks way better in this than in Kill Bill. Nice job MILFS!

I give Playing for Keeps 2 “appropriately covered toilet seats” out of 5.

by Jason Burleson

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