Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Game Plan

Year: 2007
Director: Andy Fickman
Cast: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick, Rosalyn Sanchez

I love The Rock. As a wrestler, he was magnetic. He could get the crowd cheering for him without even saying a word. He had those cool catchphrases that his fans love saying. My favourite would be "It doesn't matter!" The Rock has charm, and it shows. He's definitely a natural for the acting gig. Which is why his transition into Hollywood superstar is effortless.

Now, while being an action hero in The Scorpion King, Doom and The Rundown was easy for him, being a muscle bound guy and all, being in a comedy will require him to act a little more. In The Game Plan, he gets to do exactly that.

The Rock plays Joe Kingman, a star quarterback for the Boston Rebels football team. He's rich, single and living the life any bachelor would die for. He's popular with the fans, and almost everyone wants to be near this guy. One day, Joe gets the surprise of his life when an 8 year old girl shows up at his doorstep and claims to be his daughter!

Peyton Kelly (Madison Pettis) walks in literally, shows him a birth certificate and claims Joe's ex-wife from his past is her mother. This is of course, the absolute worst moment for him to discover all this, as his team is on their way to a championship final, and he can't afford to be distracted by this, now can he?

He tries to seek help from his agent Stella (Kyra Sedgwick), but she only cares about getting Joe more money through endorsements, and she hates the kid anyway. So Joe has no choice but to juggle the responsibilities of being a football player and a full time dad simultaneously. Joe and Peyton go through many hilarious misadventures, from messing up the kitchen, to media foul ups, to ballet class snafus etc. They learn more about each other along the way, and learn to love one another too, until something comes along to challenge their unique bond.

The Rock may not be the best actor in the world, but he can definitely make fun of himself. You'll love seeing him being a happy bachelor one minute, then a muscle man in a leotard in the next. He also shares great chemistry with Pettis, who is very charming as Peyton. Though you do get the feeling that she is way too smart for an 8 year old sometimes. Director Andy Fickman does a great job in making a wholesome feel good family movie which wouldn't look out of place in a Father's Day movie marathon.

Films like The Game Plan however are rather predictable. You can smell the happy ending coming a mile off. But we don't watch films like this to be surprised, we watch them to feel good and all that crap. Haha. Besides, The Rock gets to sing and play guitar in this movie. And he gets to do ballet on stage, which I thought was beautiful. Isn't that worth something? (3.5/5)

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