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Posts Tagged ‘ Judy Greer ’

Playing for Keeps

Gerard Butler, Noah Lomax and Jessica Biel in "Playing for Keeps"

George (Gerard Butler) a former international football star (soccer to our American audience) moves to a chic Virginian suburb to be near his son Lewis (Noah Lomax). While he is trying to re-build his relationship with Lewis and win back his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) he is also desperately struggling to break into sports broadcasting. Down on his luck and with no money George steps in as his son’s football coach and suddenly becomes the centre of attention, both to male and female parents and the story gets complicated.

Playing for Keeps is a film that can’t make up its mind what its main plot should be.  There are three strands of stories that never seem to quite twist into one coherent plot. The first is about a washed–up international football player who tries to redeem himself by becoming the coach of his child’s football team, the second is a bad and very awkward slapstick comedy about MILF’s who can’t wait to get their hands on and under their kids hunky Scottish coach’s kit and lastly there is a romantic drama about two people who are still in love but who are not sure if love can really conquer all and if family trumps career.

Even the plethora of stars in the cast can’t save this film from being less than middle-of-the-road. Uma Thurman as the horny, revenge-seeking MILF Patti is lacklustre, her jealous, spendthrift husband Carl (Denis Quaid) is like a cartoon. Even the normally enjoyable Judy Greer as the emotional divorcee Barb and sexy Catherine Zeta-Jones as the queen bee of MILF’s Denise don’t give Playing for Keeps a much needed lift.

Overall Playing for Keeps is a forgettable film and one you shouldn’t pay to watch, just another one of Directors Gabriele Muccino’s flops.  But if you really think you need to see Gerard Butler at his worst and spend over 100minutes wondering how much these big stars must have been paid to be part of this film fiasco wait till it’s on TV and you have nothing better to do. Definitely don’t buy the DVD as Playing for Keeps is not worth keeping, or remembering for that matter.

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Jeff Who Lives At Home

Jeff (Jason Segel) is your quintessential slacker, he loves smoking weed nearly as much as he loves M. Night Shyamalan’ s film “Signs”. He rarely ventures out of his mother’s basement and tries to figure out the meaning of his life and destiny by looking for hidden messages and signs in everything.  One morning Jeff is forced to leave his comfort zone when his mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon) sends him on a quest to buy wood glue and fix her kitchen cabinet and a mysterious caller tells him to find Kevin.

Jeff’s brother Pat (Ed Helms) wants a bigger life than he can afford and tries to be a mover and shaker which only ends up annoying everyone, including his wife (Judy Greer).

Sharon spends her day in a small cubical worrying about Jeff, gossiping with her colleagues and thinking that her life is over. But when a secret admirer starts sending her messages she discovers that her dreams are still very much alive.

As the story unfolds Jeff plays basketball, gets beaten up, bumps into his brother, starts stalking his sister in law, jumps on an ice-cream truck and is always on the lookout for signs and “Kevin”.  The intertwining plot is filled with twist and turns and at times it is hard to see where the story is going but with the surprising climax and strong characters Jeff who lives at home is a clever and sweet film.

The brothers Jay and Mark Duplass wrote and directed  Jeff who lives at home and like their offbeat film Cyrus family is the very much at the centre of the plot. Sticking to their independent roots this new film lacks Hollywood glamour and shows a real insight into the grittier aspects of siblings, families and shattered dreams, while somehow still staying positive and at times very funny.

Jason Segel is endearing as the anti-hero Jeff and manages to be witty, insightful and very childlike in equal measures, although at times Jeff does seem a little bit pervy and you just know he smells a little bit unwashed.

Overall Jeff who lives at home is a good film, funny at times and  relies on strong actors, good dialogues and an interesting plot. So leave your 3D goggles at home and enjoy a film that just wants to tell a story and does so well.

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