67
      Sunday
      88 / 66
      Monday
      89 / 67
      Tuesday
      90 / 67

      Playing for Keeps

      "Playing for Keeps" starring Gerard Butler (Phantom of the Opera, The Ugly Truth and many other so-so movies), is about a former soccer star named George that played alongside David Beckham in his hay-day and has fallen far from grace. He??s a guy who??s a natural at getting things and being given things, but horrible at making decisions, knowing when people are taking advantage of him and growing up. So, when he returns to the hometown of his former love, Stacie (Jessica Biel), to patch things up and reunite with his son, the typical romantic movie story begins to play out.

      That being said, this movie has been a subject of numerous poor reviews from national critics and I would have to say that for some reasons, criticism is justified, but the movie is nowhere near as bad as it is being portrayed. The script is strange. It portrays Butler??s character realistically, but occasionally gets farcical at random times. He??s a ladies man and always has been. Women flock to him, so when he accidentally ends up coaching his son??s soccer team, he becomes the target of many players Mom??s; single, disturbed, married, manipulative. Then of course there??s the Indian neighbor who seems to have no life, but watching George hosting numerous women from the guesthouse that he is renting.

      George is a hard character to like. Although I found his character realistic in portrayal as someone who has numerous women who want him and everybody treating him like a celebrity. Quite simply, he takes it. Most would. Yet, as predictable as the script may be, I found the things that happened in the movie justified. George grows throughout the movie and he battles with his maturity. There are many valuable lessons that many will relate to in the film. For the most part, being a parent requires a lack of selfishness and that is George??s biggest challenge.

      Look, I??m not going to call this movie great or anything like that, but romantic comedies are like horror movies these days, they??re all the same. I found "Playing for Keeps" unique and I found the characterizations and characters realistic, with the exception of a few times when the movie tried to be silly.

      "Playing for Keeps" is certainly a better alternative to the unrealistic portrayal??s of men in Nicholas Sparks movies. In Sparks movies, "Dear John", "The Lucky One" and "The Notebook", the men are pristine, they have no depth, they are just perfect people who serve no purpose but to provide motivation for the women that pursue them. At least in "Playing for Keeps", the male character has tremendous flaws and we can all relate because we all do.