Usually soccer is not in my fields of vision or interest, but the last few days it showed up on my radar thrice. First, I heard a radio report about Romário, a successful Brazilian soccer player, who became a politician after he had a child a with Down-Syndrome. He defied low expectations usual for celebrity politicians and turned out to be an inspiring activist, who even opposed superfluous government spending for the upcoming soccer world cup. Next, I couldn’t avoid hearing from the media that Beckham, the most famous soccer player of recent times, has just retired. After these two encounters I gave in and watched a soccer related movie that was in my queue for a while: Playing for Keeps
It was nothing more and nothing less than I expected. A light comedy with the suggested lesso
n (SPOILER ALERT) that you can give up a promising career for love and family and then everything will be OK. This is fine and dandy, but ti bothered me how male centric the movie was. we never learn that the ex-future wife does, as if she couldn’t have a career on her own. All the women in it were subservient to their men, or at least defined by their relations to them. The one exception was the character played by Catherine Zeta-Jones who was a strong professional woman. But even she was often reduced to her sexuality and at one point she says, “You see, you’re not the only one who used to be someone, coach.” In other words she can be someone only in the past, but resigned not to be again in the future. And the “someone” part was defined by her old career.
Despite these reservations, the movie was enjoyable enough. It was sad though to see Uma Thurman and Jessica Biel see in such empty roles. They are both capable of real acting, which was not required here.
IMDB summary: A former sports star who’s fallen on hard times starts coaching his son’s soccer team as a way to get his life together. His attempts to become an adult are met with challenges from the attractive soccer moms who pursue him at every turn.