Written by / 12/12/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

PLAYING FOR KEEPS

year: 2012 cast: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta Jones rating: **1/2
It’s always a matter of time before an action hero climbs into a romantic comedy vehicle. Being Gerald Butler’s turn, he decided to meet in the middle and play someone athletic. Although as a has-been soccer star named George, he’s more lethargic than active.

George's main goal has always been women… and that’s what he gets when he decides to move to the town where his ex-wife and son live. He winds up being the soccer coach to help his kid's team, and all the soccer moms have the ever-loving hots for him.

These include Judy Greer, who cries at the sight of the big Scottish lug. Then there’s Catherine Zeta-Jones as a sexy sportscaster… or ex sportscaster turned domesticated mother… who can help George land a gig – with a sultry price. And Uma Thurman is the promiscuous wife of Dennis Quaid, the town boob with so much money to throw around he practically drowns in it.

Having tanked so hard in theaters and receiving a disastrous 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes, you’d think PLAYING FOR KEEPS would be a lot worse. Sure, it’s not very funny… Gerald Butler has the comedic chops of a deer in headlights and even seems out of his element romancing (or being romanced by) the ladies.

But his performance comes around when he realizes what the audience knows from the start – and what the movie’s title implies: that his son and ex wife, played with a girl next door charm by Jessica Biel, mean more than anything… including a game changing career.

The best scenes have George realizing his days of wild abandonment have gone past. Not only because he has another shot at regaining his family, but the lusty hijinx with the town moms, meant to put the Comedy in Romantic, isn't very funny and, with the exception of an 11th hour dilemma, ultimately lacks purpose.  

But this could be due to the film’s star, who fares better with blood oozing from a sword. In KEEPS, Butler seems like a mercenary on vacation, itching for the idyllic break to end. 
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