Playing for Keeps Movie


Gerard Butler
Jessica Biel
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Uma Thurman
Dennis Quaid

Playing for Keeps is a highly entertaining American romantic comedy (or RomCom) movie that was released in the year 2012. The movie was directed by Gabriele Muccino and had popular star cast like Jessica Biel and Gerard Butler playing the lead roles and Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer and, Thurman as supporting actors. The film came out in the US and Canada on December 7, 2012. Let’s now go over the movie’s plot in good detail.

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Gerard Butler plays the role of George Dryer who is a former soccer player of Scottish origin and had played for DC United, Celtic and Liverpool, apart from playing for the Scotland national team at one point of time. He’s mostly viewed in his group as someone who’s well past his prime. He desperately attempts to raise some funds by doing away with his game memorabilia and also tries his hand at becoming a sports announcer. But majority of his efforts are met with mediocre responses.

‘Playing for Keeps’ is a fairly light film that managed to draw out impressive performances from its well-known star cast. Despite not being given a welcome response by a section of critics, it proved to be a success world over. It was in fact rated as one of the most loved comedy movies by many reputed ranking websites, including which rated it as one of the best comedies of 21st century!

Talking about John’s personal relationships, his equation with his son Lewis (played by Noah Lomax) isn’t very successful either, owing to him seeing his son only periodically. When George hears the news of his ex-wife Stacie (played by Jessica Biel) getting married off to her boyfriend Matt (played by James Tupper), he gradually loses all hope of having any meaningful future with her. On one fine day after dropping an audition tape showing him exhibiting his sports anchor skills, George visits his son Lewis to help him in his soccer practice. Upon reaching the practice field, he finds that his son’s soccer team isn’t good at all and the coach is least interested in paying attention to the team. Soon, the parents of the children (playing in the team) start pressurizing Stacie to request George to join the team as the new coach, an offer which he reluctantly accepts. After becoming the coach, George starts attracting attention of several mothers of his pupils and even gets a bribe from someone called Carl King (played by Dennis Quaid) who wants George to give preferential treatment to his children.

He draws specific attention from Carl’s wife Patti (played by Uma Thurman), ex-sportscaster Denise (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a divorced woman named Barb (played by Judy Greer). Denise gets pretty desperate for George and very straightforwardly sends him an email informing him that she’s been thinking about him all the time.

George receives an invitation to a dinner party scheduled at Carl’s house when he goes to soccer practice the next day. He’s also informed by Denise that she’s been handed his audition tape and that she’d love to pass it along. He’s even approached by Barb. At Carl’s party George gets to know about the former’s infidelity and that Patti had been aware of his affairs all this while (Carl is completely oblivious to this fact). Carl tries to bribe George again by lending him his Ferrari, making an excuse that he loves to take care of his friends. George accepts the offer and uses the Ferrari to drive down and see Stacie. Both of them try to have a healthy discussion about how they could’ve possibly approached their relationship and created a better future for themselves. Nevertheless, Stacie is adamant that she doesn't think about the past too much and has moved on.

Once George gets back home, he finds Barb eagerly waiting for him. She discloses to George that she’s been feeling very lonely of late and has even set up her profile on a dating website in order to find someone. She asks George if he thinks of her to be attractive. Both of them end up sleeping together. The next day, George is summoned by Carl who requests him to pick up some money from Patti and bring it to bail him out from the jail. He further discloses that he had gotten into a fight at the party last night. Running this errand makes George late for the pickup of his son. However, he does manage to placate Lewis by allowing him to ride the car in his lap and get the actual feel of driving a Ferrari. While talking to him, George finds out that Lewis is not happy about his mother marrying Matt and that he’d never accept Matt as his dad. Thereafter, George receives a call from Denise who gives him the good news that ESPN has been looking for a fresh face for their soccer sportscaster position and that he must definitely come over to the studio for an audition. He is once again late in picking up Lewis and upsets both Lewis and Stacie in the process. This incident further weakens his relationship with them.

When he gets back home, George gets to hear from his landlord Param (played by Iqbal Theba) as he hadn’t been paying his rent for quite some time and is instead seen driving a Ferrari. He also gets a call from Patti informing him that she’s waiting in his bed. Soon, he discovers that she’s actually in Param’s bed! He has to somehow distract the latter by paying his rent using the Carl’s bribe money. Patti is pretty insistent and continues to contact George for sexual relations despite that incident. George rebuffs Patti suggesting her that she should get rid of Carl rather than getting involved in another affair.

George’s relationship with his son worsens even more when Lewis sees Denise kissing him the following day. Lewis thinks that his father was late because he was busy with Denise. Lewis takes his anger out on the soccer field and ends up having a bad fight, prompting him to tell his mom that he wishes to quit playing soccer for good. Later, George somehow manages to convince Lewis to play soccer once again and both of them have a healthy soccer battle in the rain, which ends up as a lot of fun.

In the meanwhile, George and Stacie reignite their romantic relationship which leads to growing distance between Stacie and Matt. George soon learns that he has managed to bag the job with ESPN as a sportscaster, but will have to make a long move across the country, as far as Connecticut, to take up his new position. He requests Stacie to join him. Although she initially disagrees, but when he approaches her near her car later, both of them end up having a good kiss. Later that day, George discovers that Barb, who was earlier after him has actually started dating his landlord Param and Carl has found out some pictures of Patti being inside George’s home (from the time they had slept together). As a result, Carl and George end up having a fight, in full view of Stacie. Stacie also gets to see those pictures and gets pretty upset about the whole thing, despite George pleading that it isn’t actually how it looks like. While the fight’s going on, Lewis’ team wins the soccer game.

After the soccer game, George leaves his position as team coach and starts preparing for joining his new workplace at Connecticut. In the end, he gets to stay with his son Lewis, rather than making the long move. He also gives his relationship with Stacie a new start and joins the position of a local sportscaster in Virginia itself.