Playing for Keeps, a new soccer movie, missed their goal of trying to meet the expectations of its audience.

By: Alex Keller 14′

Director Gabriele Muccino’s new movie Playing for Keeps hits the theaters Dec. 7th. With actors such as one of Hollywood’s hunk, Gerard Butler, and the beautiful Jessica Biel, many would think that this romantic comedy couldn’t fail, but this isn’t the case.

In this movie, George Dryer (Gerard Butler), a former professional soccer star, moves to Virginia in an attempt to work his way back into the lives of ex-wife, Stacie (Jessica Biel), and son, Lewis (Noah Lomax). In this attempt to win them back he agrees to coach his son’s soccer team, not knowing everything he is getting himself into. After the first practice it is obvious that he is not only a hit with the kids but also their moms. However, throughout the story these soccer moms start to become an obstacle for Dryer in his pursuit to win Stacie and Lewis back. him having to make some big decisions in about which is more important to him.

This movie is similar to a typical second chance at love story, but with a more uncommon set of obstacles. However, these obstacles don’t help it stand out, but rather do the very opposite. This movie lacks any sense of reality. For example, after no experience in sports broadcasting, ESPN is ecstatic to give Dryer his dream job of soccer broadcasting. Or how not just one but three married soccer moms would be willing to throw themselves at Dryer, going to extremes such as breaking into his home. This not only makes the viewer feel like these womens’ obsession with Dryer is too exaggerated but leaves the feeling that the only sensible woman in the movie is Stacie since she is the only woman able ignore his charm, for the most part.

Along with this movie’s lack of reality, the dialogue has a tenancy to die out right as it should be heating up. The moment in every love story when the man confesses his love to the woman of his dreams, forcing the audience to choke back tears, is of no existence in this movie. The dialogue at these make or break moments always fizzles out before the audience can truly feel the emotion the actors are trying to convey. Even though the script is not the best, the chemistry between the actors is very noticeable. When watching Noah Lomax (Lewis) act with Gerard Butler (George), one might mistake him as truly being his son. The connection between Butler and Biel is also hard to miss as the movie progresses. This is all very refreshing to see amongst the rough patches in the movie.

While this movie has not fully crash and burn, it also has not won any gold stars from it’s audience. With a script that doesn’t connect with its audience emotionally and a lack of reality, this is not the movie to fork over ten dollars on.