Entertainment

REEL REVIEWS: Butler finally scores a goal

Gerard Butler and Noah Lomax are father and son in Playing for Keeps. - FilmDistrict Distribution
Gerard Butler and Noah Lomax are father and son in Playing for Keeps.
— image credit: FilmDistrict Distribution

A former soccer (football) star, George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is trying to get his life back in order with his son, (Noah Lomax) who lives with his ex-wife (Jessica Biel).

George begins coaching his son’s soccer (football) team (The Cyclones) and although the team gets better, the onslaught of amorous soccer (football) moms only complicates matters.

We say, “It’s not your typical rom-com.”

TAYLOR: This film is billed as a romantic comedy. They got that half right. It’s a romantic drama, with occasional lighter moments. I didn’t hear much laughter from the ladies in the theatre, nor the lone man. However, Playing for Keeps is still a very good movie, with believable characters and common, yet powerful situations. It’s also just as enticing a film for a man as it is for a woman. It’s not like Butler walks around any less naked than Uma Thurman.

HOWE: I enjoyed this movie, which really surprised me. When I read the write up about it I nearly cried, “Not another bad Butler movie, pleeeease.” He’s not the best actor in the world, but this time out he gave a solid performance. Also, I don’t think it hurt having Thurman,  Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid kicking about in the background.

TAYLOR: The boy, too (Noah Lomax), was very effective as the son who barely knows his dad. I went through a divorce myself with my two sons trapped in the middle. The boys wound up moving to California and we saw each other only in installments over the course of their growing up. It’s a very difficult and painful situation for anyone to be in. So perhaps personal experience might have interfered with my ability to see Playing for Keeps as a comedy, but then again, there was very little laughter.

HOWE: What are you on about? I laughed a few times throughout, but then again I know what the “w” word (rhymes with banker) means. I don’t think many parents would be happy hearing their nine-year-old shouting that word about on the footy field.

TAYLOR: Playing for Keeps is an emotional, realistic modern tale about a broken family trying to heal itself, one person at a time. It tugs at heart strings, yet does so without being sappy or phoney. It’s sexy without being cheap or rude. Its conclusion is not the happy Hollywood kitsch that one would expect, nor is it disappointing. It’s quite like life. It made me smile and made me sad. It’s a well crafted film that everybody is going to forget about in 3... 2... 1...

— Taylor gives Playing for Keeps 3 strange streak jobs out of 5.

— Howe gives it 3 power up drinks on the crossbar out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are movie reviewers living in Vernon, B.C.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

North Okanagan Cycling Society hosts ski film
 
Glass artist and sculptor join Gallery Odin at Silver Star
 
Christmas store opens in the Elk Valley
Go off the edge of the map with John Pollack at Cafe Langham
 
Winter - Fabulous
 
Max & Ruby bring The Nutcracker Suite to the Key City Theatre
These boots are made for laughing
 
Author reads from Human Solutions
 
Ross Klatte celebrates the spectacular Selkirk Loop

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.