Playing for Keeps Movie Review Summary

Actors: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Playing for Keeps

Gerard Butler is George, an aging British soccer player who used to be world-class many years ago, but now has retired from playing. He goes to America to attempt a reconciliation with his ex-wife and to see his son who he misses. He is down on his luck after bad real estate deals and owning a bar that was a failure. He meets up with his ex-wife Stacie (played by Jessica Biel) and tries his best to heal the relationship with his previous family. It is clear that he was the reason the marriage did not work out and that he was neglectful of his young son, Lewis (played by Noah Lomax). Stacie is not that comfortable with George being suddenly back in their lives, but for the sake of her son who longs for a relationship with his father, she goes along with letting them get to know each other better. Stacie even tells George it was easier when he was an absentee father because when he was far away at least he had an excuse for not seeing his son. She warns him not to let the boy down again.
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George takes Lewis to soccer practice where he sees a really bad coach ignoring the kids and not giving them any proper instructions on how to play the game. He can't resist helping, especially when the coach simply tells the kids to kick the ball with their toes and nothing else. George steps up and really shows them how to kick the ball properly. He is an instantaneous hit with the kids, who really desire to learn how to play. The parents petition George to become the soccer coach of the kids. Once of them is the town rich guy, Carl (played by Dennis Quaid). Carl even gives George some money to "sponsor the team", and says he expects his son will play goalie and his daughter can sing the national anthem before the games. And that they should keep this arrangement between themselves. George, impressed with the boldness of Carl, accepts the money for the team.

All the parents start calling George on the phone to ask for special treatment for their kids, which he takes in stride, but when the mothers get sexual frisky with him he does not know what to make of it. One of them, who is not in a relationship, breaks down, cries and immediately throws herself sexually at him. George has sex with her mostly due to pity, but she is also nice and he really does not know what else to do.

Carl throws a party for George at his big house. At the party Carl tells George he is sleeping around on his wife. He even goes so far as to point out the woman he is cheating with. The wife, Patti, approaches George separately at the party, tells him she knows her husband is cheating, and flirts with George. Carl starts to really like George and lends him his brand new red Ferrari to drive for a short time. George's landlord questions how he could drive such a car and not have enough money to pay the security deposit which is two weeks past due. Unbeknownst to George, Patti has gotten into the house, not where George lives in the guest house but instead she is in the bedroom of George's landlord in the bigger house next to the guest house. Patti calls him on his mobile phone to tell him she is in bed waiting for him. George uses some of the team "sponsorship" money to pay the landlord to distract him while Patti sneaks back out of the wrong house. Patti gets into the correct house and climbs into George's bed half-naked. But George does not want to have sex with her and asks her to leave, which she reluctantly does after forcing him to pour her a drink.

Another one of the mothers, Denise (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) finds out George wants to be a sportscaster, which is something she did before and she still has good connections for this career. She trades sexual favors with George to get him an interview with ESPN. While they are having their tryst, George is late picking up his son Lewis and they miss a soccer game. Out of guilt, George lets the young boy drive the Ferrari. They almost crash the car into the lake. George finds out his ex-wife plans to remarry, but he knows he still loves her and he tries to convince her not to marry. She is confused because she still loves him but does not trust him.

With the help of George's expert coaching, the kids win the soccer championship. George's son scores the winning goal, but at this exact same moment Carl confronts George with photos of George and Carl's wife in George's bed. Carl had warned him that he hired a private detective to follow his wife. Carl attacks George in a jealous rage scattering the photos all over the ground. Stacie comes up to find out what is going on. Stacie sees the photos. She concludes wrongly, that once again George is back to his affairs and womanizing just like he used to do when they were married and that was the reason for their divorce. George gets the job offer from ESPN which means he must move to another city, leaving his ex-wife and his son once again. George has to make the decision, what is more important, career or family.
Best part of story, including ending: This film is about people's ability to change into becoming a better person, given enough time, and having experienced enough mistakes to not want to repeat the same ones over and over again.

Best scene in story: George is not trying to make the woman throw themselves at him, they just seem to be doing it on their own. When the landlord sees all this action, he asks George his secret. George tells him it must be his accent. This amusing because the landlord is East Indian with an accent and he is very encouraged by what George tells him.

Opinion about the main character: George is both a man's man, and a lady magnet, but what really makes him special is his unique way of teaching and motivating the kids who are learning to play soccer.

The review of this Movie prepared by Willi Vision a Level 31 Creepy Stalker Barn Owl scholar

Script Analysis of Playing for Keeps

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   2000's+ (present) Kind of sports story:    -   soccer Sports story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   athlete Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   kissing    -   touching of personal anatomy    -   actual description of sex Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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