Movie Brief: Playing For Keeps
GLOBAL — In the romantic comedy Playing for Keeps, George (Gerard Butler) is a retired soccer player, has a nine-year-old son Lewis (Noah Lomax), no job and an ex-wife, Stacie (Jessica Biel), who is about to marry her well-to-do boyfriend of three years. Yes, I summed it up in one sentence. But don’t let that scare you away. Besides everyone in the film looking aged and Jessica Biel who’s, um, a bit matronly – the film is kind of funny.
I thought this film would be a tear-jerker, surprisingly, it was more funny than sad (thankfully). I was excited to see Jessica Biel in her first film since becoming Mrs. Timberlake, but the real scene stealer was Butler as a former philanderer who seems to be a magnet for all the divorcée moms (some married too) of the soccer team he’s been convinced to coach. It’s a recipe for disaster, especially if there’s any chance of George winning the heart of his ex Stacie.
What I liked most about this film is the chemistry between George and Lewis. You can’t help but route for a reunion, not for George and Stacie, but for George and Lewis. The relationship starts off fragile but grows stronger. We witness how the bond of a father and son can help heal the relationship of the parents. Sure, it’s a fairytale we could only dream of, divorced parents rekindling their lost love, but it’s just the kind of thing that warms the heart during the holidays. It did mine!
Jessica Biel and Gerard Butler’s red carpet looks at the New York premiere.
The Chic Spy
(Image courtesy of Film District)