“Playing for Keeps”

December 16th, 2012 at 3:58 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Rated PG-13
1 hour 40 minutes

Starring: Gerard Butler, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Biel

What’s a holiday movie season without a heartwarming comedy about a washed up soccer star, trying to be a hero to his young son, and to win back his ex-wife in the bargain?

Gerard Butler makes a valiant effort to make the shopworn plot seem fresh and original. And for awhile “Playing for Keeps” plays like a PG family film about the dad bonding with his neglected son.

But it’s not long before “Playing for Keeps” slips in to its PG-13 mode. Soccer Mom Catherine Zeta-Jones makes a play for the coach, who eventually becomes fair game for every Soccer Mom in town.

WillButler’s ex, Jessica Biel rescue the coach from the predators in the stands? Sometimes being overly predictable doesn’t damage a film’s sincerity and all around good natured spirit.

“Playing for Keeps will keep you entertained If not exactly surprised.

The characters are charming, the situations amusing and the picture’s got its heart in the right place. I’d say “Playing for Keeps” scores with a game winning 3 stars.

“Playing for Keeps” looks like a keeper.

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