Playing for Keeps Soulless, Sexist
Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel rom-com: 0% on Tomatometer
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 7, 2012 9:05 AM CST
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(Newser) Playing for Keeps is generic Hollywood fare, but one thing makes it stand out: As of this writing, it's managed to score a 0% at Rotten Tomatoes, despite a star-studded cast that includes Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Here's what critics are saying about the story of a former soccer star's romantic trials:

  • "As Hollywood movies increasingly strive for immaculate blankness, they have come to resemble Rorschach ink blots," writes Mark Jenkins at NPR. As in this film: "Is it a heartwarming romantic drama? Or a cynical sex and sports comedy? There is no wrong answer, dear ticket buyer."

  • Here's an answer: It's a "a modestly affecting reconciliation drama wrapped in a so-so sports movie by way of a misogynistic romantic comedy," observes Justin Chang in Variety. "After barreling along in conventional but inoffensive fashion," the film "devolves into an unfunny parade of female sexpots, mystifyingly played by actresses one would have assumed to be well above this level of mistreatment."
  • Instead of being funny, "the caricatures are so clumsy that it's more of a nails-on-blackboard experience." writes Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. "A well-toned guy who is good with kids is the ultimate aphrodisiac for sex-starved soccer moms. Three very good actresses are squandered to prove the point."
  • To put it simply, Playing for Keeps is "mechanical and exhausting, like a windup toy of a monkey crashing together cymbals for 106 minutes while incrementally winding down," notes Carrie Rickey in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Dec 7, 2012 12:38 PM CST
What's the matter with sexy? It's supposed to be sexy!
Dec 7, 2012 11:09 AM CST
What the hell happened to Gerard's career? Of course, 300 will be remembered as his peak of movie fabulousness, but he sailed from the pitch-perfect team of 300 into Guy Ritchie's brilliant teamwork in RockNRolla, then...? Could be wrong, but was it a series of quickly-done lame adventures and comedies ever since? I really wanted to like him in Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus, as that could have been his golden opportunity to show some serious chops, but instead he felt really out of place there and for me it was very difficult to even understand his dialogue. Gerard is so quick, sharp, funny, charming, etc; it just seems like his skills have been underused or missed altogether in his last few efforts.
Dec 7, 2012 10:52 AM CST
Gerard Butler drags down any film, and those gals are dogged out & way long in the tooth. Verdict: More Hollywood trash.