Title: Playing for Keeps
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Noah Lomax, Judy Greer, Catherine Zeta Jones, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Gerard Butler is George Dryer a once international Scottish footballer who played for both Celtic and Liverpool. But after an injury ended his career early he ended up moving to America to be near to his son Lewis (Noah Lomax) and ex-wife Stacie, (Jessica Biel) who is about to re-marry.
His dreams now focus around getting to know is son better, hopefully getting back together with his ex wife and most importantly becoming a sportscaster. He’s pretty hollow as a character and a person and he’s not doing very well in any of these areas. He is unfortunately a bit of a loser now his footballing days are over.
Despite the American setting his young son plays football. Seemingly unaware that his Dad used to be a genuine football star the young lad is surprised when George takes him to soccer practice and ends up stepping in as the coach of the team when the current coach shows zero aptitude for the game and very little interest in coaching.
George is then beset by phone calls from sexually frustrated soccer Moms (Judy Greer, Catherine Zeta Jones and Uma Thurman) looking to shag George and/or worried about their weakling kids. He also has business savvy Dad (Dennis Quaid) looking to bribe George to give his kid a good place in the team.
The cast are all game and put in decent performances despite the obvious deficiencies of the script. The direction is purely by the numbers but solid enough for this type of film.
Most of the supporting cast are purely bit parts, almost cameos, Zeta-Jones gets a little more screen time as she pulls some strings for George in the broadcasting world after they have sex (and no doubt in order to keep the fling going). But as I said the rest are cameos, I'm completely bored of watching Judy Greer as sexually promiscuous characters. It appears that she has no other acting talents. She's become typecast in this role. Quaid barely registers in a blink and you’ll miss it role and Thurman is just another sex object for George – although he resists her advances.
Butler has starred in some awful films over the past few years. This is by no means brilliant but it's better than most of the dross he's been in recently. There are laughs to be had but some viewers may not enjoy the vein of misogyny that runs through Playing for Keeps as it doesn’t really sit well in a modern film.