Saturday Movies: Playing For Keeps (2012)

It seems Gerard Butler stars in everything. He stars in the actions, some dramas, but most notably he seems to really love the romantic ones, or at least he seems to be in many of them for some reason. Or either he is just really trying to run away from being type casted in 300 forever. The first thing I remember him being in was P.S. I Love You, which is a movie I will never understand the popularity of. With this being the first viewing of a movie from Gabriele Muccino there wasn’t anything that stood out too hugely. Playing for Keeps basically just aims to be a nice, cute, sometimes funny movie.

George is a fallen soccer star who is finally wanting to get his life back on track. When he is offered the chance to coach his son’s soccer team this seems like a good start, and especially something that will help him reconnect with his son. What ends up happening is that a few soccer moms begin hitting on him, and pursuing him for sex, even the wife of the man trying to finance him to coach. What he ends up in is a bunch of crazy triangles making it difficult for him to focus on getting his life together, especially so he can prove to his ex that he is trying to be more mature, and become the man to provide and protect his family.

You would think with such a huge cast of known stars that you would have had a bigger hit, and more stronger acting on your hands, but what you get is a movie that is cute, but nothing spectacular. Also, while Gerard Butler would have been suiting for this role a few years ago he seems a little bit too old now to be portraying a guy who is getting it together to become an adult. At this point at least he should have decided whether he will settle down or not.

Dennis Quaid plays a jerk in the movie, Carl, who believes it’s okay for him to cheat, but not his wife, so when his wife, Patti (Uma Thurman) ends up hitting on George this obviously causes some problem. I have never really seen Uma Thurman in a movie before, and I feel like this wasn’t the place to get acquainted with her acting. She was one of the stronger ones in the movie, but everyone as a whole just felt a little lackluster in their performances especially Jessica Biel. Also, I’ve never seen Catherine Zeta Jones in much, but I think she does okay as Denise, even though she was a tad over the top sometimes.

Biel is George’s ex, Staci. She never seems that interested in him till the very end, and instead of learning from past experiences of how immature he can be she of course starts reconsidering her current relationship to be in one with him. Most normal people might not leave a stable relationship for someone in their past just because he throws a few nice smiles over, and begins hanging out with his son he hasn’t even seen grow up. The movie can also be a tad slow. There are some little things threw into the plot that are needed to keep it interesting, but before it ends you know what will happen.

Playing For Keeps may not deserve the amount of hate it’s gotten as there isn’t anything that gravely worse than many movies it was released with. It doesn’t make you feel that romantic by the end, but it is a cute watch if you’re curious to see it. It won’t bog you down in thinking too much, nor depress you with many sob stories. It’s also filled with a bunch of known actors who do decent with their roles, but also don’t seem very passionate about them either. Plus, there may be a very small, but popular message about growing up in the middle of it all.

Rating 6 of 10.

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