OK for kids 13+
Ho-hum sports romcom lacks both laughs and chemistry.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Playing for Keeps is a romantic comedy about a faded former soccer star (Gerard Butler) who ends up coaching a youth soccer team in an effort to reconcile with his 9-year-old son after years of being an absentee dad. There are several scenes with people drinking (and sometimes getting a bit tipsy) and a moderate amount of swearing (including "s--t"). Some of the soccer moms pursue George quite aggressively and are anything but subtle about their intentions -- up to and including one who sneaks into his bedroom and strips down to her underwear while waiting for him to come home. Expect some kissing and the implication of a sexual hook-up, but nothing graphic is shown on-screen. While the movie has worthwhile themes about the importance of teamwork, parenting, and responsibility, women are mostly portrayed as needy and manipulative, which undercuts the positive take-away.
- Families can talk about how Playing for Keeps portrays George as a dad. What do you think of his parenting? What does he learn during the film? How does he compare to other movie/TV dads?
- How does the movie depict the women in George's life? Is it fair/accurate? What about the men?
- Why do you think George and Stacie originally broke up? Should they get back together?
The good stuff
Messages: Playing for Keeps has messages about the importance of being a good parent, the value of teamwork, and the possibility of growing and changing enough to be worthy of a second chance. The movie makes the point that the biggest part of parenting is simply being there, a lesson that's at first hard for George to grasp as he tries to reconcile with his 9-year-old son after years of being a mostly absent dad. But he tries hard and makes progress.
Role models: George is a charming flake who's irresistible to the local soccer moms. But he's a harder sell to his ex-wife and their son, who know that he can't be relied upon. But eventually he grows up (a bit) as he tries to reconcile with them both and learns some important lessons about life and responsibility. Unfortunately, most of the women in the movie are portrayed as needy and manipulative.
What to watch for
Violence: Two men get into a pushing and shoving fight and end up wrestling on the ground. Shoving during a soccer match. One scene features characters watching a gory horror movie.
Sex: Several scenes show women blatantly flirting with and throwing themselves at George, and he doesn't always fend them off. It's implied that he hooks up with one of them. One scene shows a woman in bed in her underwear, propositioning a man. Kissing. A married man discusses his philandering, and some of the women pursuing George complain of their unhappy marriages.
Language: Relatively infrequent swearing includes "s--t," "crap," "hell," "ass," "damn," "oh my God," and "wankers."
Consumerism: A red Ferrari convertible has a starring moment, but George usually drives around in an Alfa Romeo. Another character is frequently seen in her Jeep. Several scenes show Apple products, including an iPhone and a Mac laptop. Other products are visible in the background of some scenes, including cans of Coca-Cola. Both Nike and Adidas sportswear get some prominent screen time, and a bottle of Gatorade makes an important cameo.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several scenes show people drinking wine, beer, champagne, and liquor -- at parties, during meals, or while relaxing at home. A few characters get a bit tipsy at a nostalgic lunch. One character is implied to be somewhat drunk most of the time.
Fan Reviews provided by
Terrible Movie by hoytpa
This was a terrible movie. I was very disappointed with this film and my wife and I walked out due to the crude material. It has multiple sexual references / situations / scenes. None of this was portrayed in the trailers, so it came as a shock to us. I would not recommend wasting your time and money on this film. Big disappointment.
Playing For Keeps by alanbige
I liked 'PFK' a lot. Very simple. Quite well done. Happy-ending predictable. I find nothing wrong with that if the project is well crafted and fun as this one is. However, if you know it's going to have a happy ending going in, it can cut down on your enjoyment. Therefore, I don't think you should read a film review -- even a lousy review like this one -- until AFTER you've seen the movie... or not at all. The little kid is terrific. The kid-soccer coverage is fun and well edited. The music is well done and well thought out, particularly the piece that runs with the end credits. Every one of the cast did a fine job -- particularly Gerard, Biels and Quaid. It looks like everyone had a fun time making the movie. That came through for me. I would not pay more than $5 or$6 to see it -- candy, soda, popcorn included. The Shreveport, LA locations look great with the wide, digital projection and super multi-plex sound. It makes sense to wait for the DVD. Have fun. Thanks. ae
Not worth full admission by clearfreak
I'd wait until it comes out on video or at a less expensive theatre. You knew where the story line went, Catherine Zeta-Jones delivered a "forgettable" performance! Dennis Quaid was annoying.
TRITE, TRIVIAL, TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS! by Peneflix
The director, writers, producers must have suffered a meteoric meltdown to think that this sophomoric drivel qualifies as entertainment. An ageing, once renown soccer player, "George" (Gerard Butler) returns to a town of desperate housewives (Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta Jones, Judy Greer), to reconnect with his ten-year-old son, "Lewis" (an enchanting Noah Lomax)) and ex-wife, "Stacie" (Jessica Biel). Predictability ensues: ups and downs of a father/son relationship; out-of-work George tackles the challenges of coaching a beleaguered, winless, little league soccer team, hoping to garnish the esteem and affection of Lewis (and still loved ex-wife, Stacie)...
ONE & 1/2 STARS!
***For more reviews please visit peneflix(dot)com!!!
Crazy Suburban Mothers by imara90
With a cast like this I expected way more from this movie and I was wholly underwhelmed. Gerard jumps from bed to bed with all the crazy suburban wives yet we're still supposed to root for him to get back together with his ex-wife? No thank you! I would definitely pass on this movie disguised as a romance.
playing for keeps by underpar1162
didnt like the ending ... only reason not a must go and just a go..... once he found out that she dumped the other guy... he should have called espn and tell them he is on his way...
Playing for keeps by lauriebuf
I brought my 12 year old daughter to this movie because she plays soccer and I thought it would be a good soccer inspiring movie. I was very wrong! Instead, it was all about moms throwing themselves at the "ex-soccer player" coach and the coach trying to get his ex wife back all the while sleeping with the players mothers and disappointing his son. It was actually very disgusting. For the life of me I don't understand why Hollywood feels the need to drowned family movies with "adults behaving badly" substance. Are the writers just so desperate for material that this crap is the only thing they can come up with? Even the all star cast can't save this movie. Don't waste your money! Instead stay home and rent "Rudy" or "Remember the Titans" if your looking for a sports inspiring movie like I was.
Great of Gerard Butler and boy, everyone else seemed miscast by firedep
Great acting by Gerard Butler and boy. Jessica Beil was believable but completely boring. Dennis Quaid and Uma Thurman seemed completely miscast, and their characters were stupid - they seemed very out of place in these roles. I am a big romantic comedy fan, but this left me very disappointed. I'm afraid I cannot recommend to others. :(
Playing For Keeps Review by allinsmith
Went to the first showing on the day it was released. This movie hyped a romantic story about redemption and love with what looked like a lot of humor added in. I took my wife to see this and about a quarter to half way in, we looked at each other to see if we were going to walk out and get our money back. What I saw was a man chasing cougars while trying to straighten out his life. Normally I don't pay attention to other peoples reviews, but this one is probably one to rent when it comes out on dvd rather than pay to see it in the theater if your going to watch it at all..
Heartwarming and fun movie by tvcsunny06
This movie was even better than I had hoped for. The main focus was his relationship with his son and Gerard Butler acted his part so well I could feel his pain and his joy. I wasn't the only one because there was alot of laughter, a few tears and even clapping during this movie. It was a very heartwarming movie with some characters and relationships that people can relate to. So go go go and enjoy!