When Brad Pitt chose to star in Killing Them Softly I thought he made the worst choices in film roles of anyone in Hollywood. I take that back. Gerard Butler makes the worst choices of film roles. Has he had anything close to a hit since he starred in 300? The answer is no. He has parlayed that one success into a Hollywood career. And he is still making likeable losers such as his latest Playing for Keeps.
In Playing for Keeps Butler plays the role of George, a retired soccer player. At one time George was at the top of his game. He was a star and had a wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) and a son Lewis (Noah Lomax). Stacie got tired of his roving eye and divorced him, and took their son with her. Now nine years later George wants to find a job and reconnect with his family.
He moves to the town where Stacie and Noah live and reconnects with his son. He even becomes the coach for his soccer team. This thrills the parents who love having a star in their midst. Carl (Dennis Quaid), who lives to be in the company of celebrities, becomes George's biggest fan and sponsor. His wife Patti (Uma Thurman) has her eyes on George too but for different reasons.
Denise (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is also attracted to George, but she brings a bonus with her. She used to be a sports announcer and still has connections in that field. Since George wants to be a sports announcer he is willing to get close to Denise. This frustrates Barb (Judy Greer) who wants George all for herself.
As you can see depth of plot is not a big factor in this film, but it does have one relationship that rings true. That is George's relationship with his son. Although he keeps messing up, he seems to have genuine affection for his son and possibly his ex-wife.
The movie is not horrible by any means; it just isn't something that demands to be seen. It could compete with any Lifetime or Hallmark movie and probably outdo them. But it is competing on the big screen where you have to pay for your entertainment, and Playing for Keeps isn't worth the big bucks.
The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and sexual situations.
Gerard Butler had better pick a good script and do it fast. The good will and star power he has been carrying from 300 is fading fast.
I scored Playing for Keeps a let go 5 out of 10.