There is a soccer-themed movie opening in the theaters today: “Playing for Keeps.”
I attended a screening earlier this week, and wrote this review for today’s GO entertainment section. And below I’m adding a few thoughts that seemed more appropriate for a soccer blog than a movie review.
1.) The movie begins with a flash-back from the hero’s playing days with Celtic FC, and the first flashback image is him scoring a goal that looks amazingly like Patrick Ianni’s goal-of-the-year strike from this season.
2.) The movie is set it Washington, D.C., and therefore there are several mentions of Major League Soccer in general and of D.C. United in particular.
3.) There is a subplot involving the hero seeking an announcing job at ESPN, which, accoring to the movie, is looking to improve it’s soccer coverage. (As I mention high in the review, this isn’t a documentary.)
And as I also try to make clear in the review, it hardly qualifies as a soccer movie at all. The hero is a former European footballer, and he coaches a low-level coed kids team. But that’s just what brings together most of the characters in this movie, which is far more interested in the character’s social life, especially his interest in reuniting with his ex-wife and his cute kid.
Bottom line: A mostly routine romantic comedy without enough soccer element to draw fans on that basis alone.