Playing for Keeps

Gerard Butler, Noah Lomax and Jessica Biel in "Playing for Keeps"

Gerard Butler, Noah Lomax and Jessica Biel in “Playing for Keeps”

George (Gerard Butler) a former international football star (soccer for your Americans) moves to a chic Virginian suburb to be near his son Lewis (Noah Lomax). While he is trying to re-build his relationship with Lewis and win back his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) he is also desperately struggling to break into sportscasting. Down on his luck and with no money George steps in as his son’s football coach and suddenly becomes the centre of attention, both to male and female parents and the story gets complicated.

Playing for Keeps is a film that can’t make up its mind what its main plot should be.  There are three strands of stories hat never seem to quite twist into one coherent plot. The first is about a washed–up international foot-ball player who tries to redeem himself by becoming the coach of his child’s football team, the second is a bad and very awkward slapstick comedy about MILFS who can’t wait to get their hands on and under their kids hunky Scottish coach’s kit and lastly there is a romantic drama about two people who are still in love but who not sure if love can really conquer all and if family trumps career.

Even the plethora of stars in its cast can’t save this film from being less than middle-of-the-road. Uma Thurman as the horny, revenge-seeking MILF Patti is lacklustre, her jealous, spendthrift husband Carl (Denis Quaid) is like a cartoon. Even the normally enjoyable Judy Greer as the emotional divorcee Barb and sexy Cathreine Zeta-Jones as the queen bee of MILFs Denise don’t give Playing for Keeps a much needed lift.

Overall Playing for Keeps is a forgettable film and one you shouldn’t pay to watch, just another one of Directors Gabriele Muccino’s flops.  But if you really think you need to see Gerard Butler at his worst and spend over 100minutes wondering how much these big stars must have been paid to be part of this film fiasco wait till it’s on TV and you have nothing better to do. Definitely don’t buy the DVD as Playing for Keeps is not worth keeping, or remembering for that matter.

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