A shirtless Gerard Butler and another bad romantic comedy

by Jase Howell

A paycheck. That is about the only explanation that can be given for why a film like "Playing for Keeps" is made.

A pretty talented cast is involved in this completely forgettable film, and the only reason I can possibly see that they were here is they needed paychecks. I suppose all actors - all people, for that matter - need to get paid, but this is a case where it is just so frankly blatant. Nobody involved in this film could have possibly read the script and said, "Oh wow I have got to be a part of this film."

The premise for this completely unoriginal gem starts with George (Gerard Butler), or "King George" as he is nicknamed by the soccer announcers who cover his team during the prime of his career. In the opening scenes we see George as an almost David Beckham-like character, a true idol. But alas, all careers end and George's ending finds him years later in Virginia, near his ex-wife, Stacie (Jessica Biel), and son, Lewis (Noah Lomax). Although, Stacie has a fiance, there is little doubt why George, the once great soccer star, is there. Quite frankly, there is no doubt where this grossly predictable story is going or how it will end - and this is evident only 10 minutes into the film.

But I digress. George is revered and known world-wide, but apparently has limited work options when the film finds him. It's difficult to tell why exactly, he is after all a legend; and he looks like, well, Gerard Butler, and we all know how sexy he is. It is hard to believe he wouldn't get any kind offers to be a coach or involved in management after his career, but never mind, that would ruin the set-up