Playing for Keeps (2012) starring Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Noah Lomax, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman directed by Gabriele Muccino Movie Review

Playing for Keeps (2012)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Gerard Butler in Playing for Keeps (2012)

You Can Keep It

George Dryer (Gerard Butler) was a football star; starting his career in Scotland before playing for the great Liverpool before eventually making his way to the MLS where at the age of 36 his career came to an end with an injury. But post football George has struggled and with debts mounting up whilst he tries to bond with his boy and prove to his son's mother Stacie (Jessica Biel) that he is trying to come good. But with his attempts to enter the world of being a sports presenter not going well he finds himself coaching his sons football team. But his attempts to show Stacie that he means well are hampered by the mum's of the kids who find him hot and a father who wants to bribe George to get his kid on the team.

First up I am a Brit and so whether you like it or not I will refer to soccer by its proper name, which is Football. But I am a football fan as well and whilst I accept "Playing for Keeps" is not really about football the cheesy introduction which sees Gerard Butler's head super imposed on to footage of great goals is terrible. And that intro is indicative of the rest of the movie which lacks detail and is basically horny mums flirting with the charming Scottish coach who is trying to win back the mother of his child. I wish I could say there is more to this than that but there isn't and it makes "Playing for Keeps" weak and only for those who either find Gerard Butler hot or fancy one of the actresses who star as a flirty mum.

Now I am looking for something to be positive about and I find myself coming to Jessica Biel as she plays the closest thing to a real, grown up character which ironically makes her ordinary when she is surrounded by so many over the top performances. And that is what is quite shocking as the likes of Uma Thurman, Judy Greer and Catherine Zeta-Jones are all good actresses but end up incredibly tacky in these shallower than shallow roles. Even worse is Dennis Quaid who is painfully over the top as father who flashes his money around.

What this all boils down to is that if you have any interest in football then give "playing for Keeps" a big miss as it will wind you up. But if you fancy Gerard Butler or any of his co-stars then this might entertain on the most basic of levels, just.