Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LEATHERHEADS (2008)

Where's the football? The tagline for the film is "In the beginning, the rules where simple. There weren't any." Now, maybe I'm just being overly imaginative, but in my mind that tagline plus the DVD cover above creates all kinds of exciting images of rugged, barbarian-type football players charging all over the football field grinding cleats into hands, ripping opponents faces off and crushing testicles. Or maybe a wacky, slapstick comedy with all kinds of silly, Buster Keaton/Harold Lloyd-style tomfoolery going on. But no, instead LEATHERHEADS is a romantic comedy about football...with only maybe 20 minutes of actual football onscreen. And boring football action at that. Hmm.

OK then, well that's disappointing, but let's go ahead and see if it's at least an enjoyable romantic comedy that's romantic and funny. No, it's not. LEATHERHEADS seems like it wants to go multiple directs all at the same time, but actually goes nowhere. It starts off with some football shenanigans about George Clooney playing in a financially collapsing football club, then it switches gears to prune-faced newspaper reporter Renee Zellweger trying to uncover the truth behind the war hero story of football star John Krasinski. These two stories come together when Clooney convinces Krasinski to join his near failure team and Zellweger follows the team on the road under the guise of doing a piece on Krasinski. On top of this is the inevitable love triangle when Clooney and Krasinski both fall for Renee's adorable, snarling puss. But if that's not enough things come to a screeching halt for probably 20 minutes or more when Renee publishes her damning article about Krasinski's war records. Who gives a fuck?!!! Where's the football?

My advise to time-travelers going back in time to rewrite this script: drop the entire war record angle and instead make it about a rugged, hard-living player who has dedicated his life to bringing up the game and right as it's happening the powers that be starts to push him out to make room for younger, more brash players. You can leave the female reporter (played by
Charlize Theron instead) and have her following the younger player, but while doing so she falls in love with the older player.

I watched this film with a friend who had just bought the movie sight unseen on the way over to my crib. Afterwards I asked him if I could borrow it for a day or two to take screenshots for this review. His reply? "You can fucking have it." Me: "I only need it to take screenshots. I can give it back to you tomorrow." Him: "Keep it." So if anybody wants this movie and lives in Cedar Park, it'll be for sale over at the 1/2 Price Books in like 30 minutes.