Playing for Keeps (2012) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A former sports star who's fallen on hard times starts coaching his son's soccer team as a way to get his life together. His attempts to become an adult are met with challenges from the attractive soccer moms who pursue him at every turn. Runtime: 1h 36mn Release Date: 06 Dec 2012
Did not fancy this film when it first came to my notice. Saw trailer for film in forthcoming attractions at the cinema. Eventually decided that as it looked OK, and did not look bad, that I might give it a go if there was nothing else on that I fancied.Heard interview with Gerard Butler on the radio. Interview concentrated on his life before, and after, becoming actor, but the little he mentioned of the film tweaked my interest. He plays a charming retired sports-star, loved by all. Butler said he did sports-training for the role but otherwise it did not stretch him. He did have input in <more>
picking the teams that he played for in his heyday, as well as the sport.Important. Do not miss the start of the film as it opens with him playing for his teams when he was at the top of his career, and, explains how his career ended.Butler playing the male-lead, truly has an undemanding role. He plays a Scottish footballer who was a legend in his time and is now still God's gift to women. The dream of every Scotsman.It should be stated clearly that this sport is football, the world's top sport. It is called football around the world but in the USA is known as soccer.However girls do not be deterred, this is not a sports film. The sport is needed for the plot but it does not overwhelm. In this, film is like 'Silverlinings'. A play-book is not required to understand the film.Film is a Rom-com, and a good one. Male lead, is an ex-sports-star, now retired, and now divorced, who has been out of contact with his son. He has now moved into the same town as said son. He is determined to re-establish contact with his son. This he does, only with great sacrifice, so great that the enormity of it, has only just hit me now, several hours after the film ended.As he gets involved with son he takes him to football/soccer, and through frustration, stumbles into role of coach. This brings him into contact with the sex-starved soccer-moms and that part of the film verges on French-farce.Far more sinister is the role of supporting-male actor. Randy Quaid. In the past, in the body of Martin Short, in 'Inner Space' he was the handsome, flawed-diamond, hero, wooing Meg Ryan. Now older, he plays second fiddle to the younger Butler. Although generous with his large fortune he seems shady, sinister and slimy. A very unattractive and unpleasant role.Jessica Biel plays female-lead as the ex-wife. Interaction between ex-husband and ex-wife works really well, and you can really believe that they were once married.The all-star cast of soccer-moms are great and so are the kids. Lead-kid plays kid well. No animals, but adults have managed to refute advice on children.Some critics, criticize this Rom-com for being like a Rom-com. Mayo-lite rants in the UK, by people who don't understand sport, miss the point. This is a Rom-com about a sports-star, with all that, that, entails. Film keeps you guessing to the end.And that was the news.Finally sport, and a late football score, and what an amazing score it is; The Film; 10, The Scale; 10.
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. How you know is a good performance? because you'll believe her. The young Noah performance holds <more>
next to the others. 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. The Italian Helmer "Gabriele" did the best thing that a director can do: make the movie work as a whole with a seamless direction. Well done and highly recommended.
A real keeper, so its very discouraging to see national critics slam sweet films like this (by inkblot11)
George Gerard Butler is a washed up soccer star. Oh, there was a time when he had it all, a beautiful wife, Stacy Jessica Beil , a darling son, Lewis Noah Lomax and a jet-setting career. But, once he retired, he foolishly lost it all, through skirt-chasing, bad investments, and lousy parenting. Stacy lives in the DC area, with new fiancé, Matt James Tupper and her growing son and, after years of wandering, that's where George has rented a small carriage house near a larger mansion. Although he is trying to make it as a television broadcaster, his present job situation is <more>
"iffy". Nevertheless, the aging has-been makes it clear to his ex that he is keen to develop a better relationship with his son and is "sticking around". This throws Stacy into a tizzy, as it was much easier for her to write him out of her life in absentia. As Lewis is a member of a local little league soccer team, George shows up to watch his son play. All too soon it becomes obvious that the present coach is too busy with work calls to give his full attention to the kids. Subtly, George gives out advice and, before long, the parents, especially Karl Dennis Quaid wants George to run the show. Then, too, Karl's gorgeous wife, Patti Uma Thurman , an attractive divorcée, Denise Catherine Zeta-Jones and an insecure single mother, Barb Judy Greer also are glad to have a handsome man like George in close proximity. With women at his heels and fathers handing him cash and cars, will this distract George from his real "goal", which is to win Stacy back? What a very enjoyable film this is, a real keeper, combining fun, glamour, and serious issues. Butler does a great job as the man who is just learning to act like an adult while Biel gives a sensitive, low-key performance as Stacy. Wow, does Thurman, Z-Jones, and Greer look sensational as they give fine support! Lomax is a cute, talented child star while Quaid has the obnoxious, rich mogul act down pat. Only Tupper's "nice guys have no lines" role is disappointing, for he deserves more. Also, the Virginia setting is lovely, while the costumes, script, and studied direction do well in enhancing the story. So, dear ladies and truly anyone who wants a break from superheroes, vampires, zombies, gangsters or action movies, this flick has a evening of delight waiting for you. Buy tickets soon.
An honest movie. Just know what it is about.Basically a divorce story with some weird turns but sensitive and realistic.It has the ingredients that, for those that have been there, make sense.Leaves - and this is what I like in the movies that I like - a good taste at the end. Not sad, not too happy, just pleasant.It is not unrealistic, and plays with feelings we know.Loved the Butler play, call it somehow a funny play. Jessica knows a thing or two about the issue so brings the right ingredients into its play.Not a romantic comedy, just a good movie to perhaps clean off some bitter taster <more>
Playing for Keeps handles the comedy and drama well for what it is (by tavm)
This was both a funny comedy and a touching drama about star Gerald Butler's choices as an ex-soccer star about what's important to him concerning family and career. Though he pines for his ex-wife Jessica Biel , he's still not above having trysts with mothers of sons and daughters who he coaches on soccer games. One of the kids he coaches is his own son. I'll stop there and say I found many of the scenes involving those soccer moms Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer quite funny especially involving expert comedienne Greer. Oh, and then there's another quite funny twist <more>
involving Dennis Quaid and Uma Thurman as a husband-and-wife who don't sleep together. When the more dramatic parts involving Butler, Biel, and their son take over, it provides quite a touching segue to how it all ends. So on that note, I recommend Playing for Keeps. Oh, and as a Louisiana resident, I have to note that much of this movie was shot in the state town of Shreveport.