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Created: Thursday, December 6, 2012 8:07 a.m. CDT

Westhoff Reviews "Playing for Keeps"

By Jeffrey Westhoff

Playing for Keeps
*

Rated: PG-13 for some sexual situations, language and a brief intense image
Running time: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Who’s in it: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones

What it’s about: When a down-on-his luck former pro soccer star (Butler) agrees to coach his son’s youth team, the several randy moms on the bleachers (including Zeta-Jones and Uma Thurman) decide to make a play for him. This could ruin his chances of reconciling with his ex-wife (Biel).

Verdict: This comedy stinks of the 1990s, when stories about immature dads were in vogue and when Robbie Fox’s script was probably written. Director Gabriele Muccio attempts to combine that sort of heartwarming muck with a sex comedy awfully reminiscent of Warren Beatty’s “Shampoo.” Even if the two halves of the script weren’t incompatible, the overall soul-sucking phoniness is enough to ruin this awful excuse for a romantic comedy. Biel’s performance is the only genuine element in a wasteland of artificiality.