For the past few years, I’ve been convinced that Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, and Anna Faris are all in a contest to see which super-likable actor can ruin their career by choosing horrible projects the fastest. Gerard Butler may have just taken a slight lead with Playing for Keeps (co-starring Jessica Biel, pictured below, for obvious reasons), which is currently tracking 0% fresh on
…flat, hacky, unfunny dreck… with an uncomfortably flagrant misogynistic streak. -Christy LeMire, AP
“Playing for Keeps” isn’t content just to be a generic romantic comedy. nstead, not only is it not funny and not particularly romantic, it treats women like idiots. the script, by Robbie Fox, is lazy; characters disappear for long stretches (who can blame them?), only to show up again when some ridiculous plot contrivance requires it. Simply put, it’s a mess. -AZ Central
…a sloppy, poorly focused comedy -ReelReviews
You don’t often find a romantic comedy that has no idea what it’s supposed to be doing. -NOWToronto
The story is surprisingly – almost painfully – hackneyed, with the fine cast giving consistently one-dimensional turns. It is perplexing as to how such an unambitious, paint-by-numbers work got made. Actually, it is not even a current paint-by-numbers effort, because most contemporary romances involving once-connected-now-separated couples are a bit more sophisticated and worldly. -Austin Chronicle
Butler’s latest putrefying corpse is “Playing for Keeps,” a movie that answers the question: Is it possible for a sex farce and a family drama to be one and the same movie?
The answer is no. Contrived and phony from beginning to end. -St. Paul Pioneer Press
At the end of this embarrassing movie, you feel that the director has not only wasted the talents of half a dozen good actors, but has also wasted vast amounts of money–and our own precious time. -Emmanuel Levy
…a mushy-headed vehicle for what are supposed to be a lot of high-voltage star turns. Nothing much makes sense, but look at all the celebrities. -Canada.com
Having given Greer a pity screw and let Zeta-Jones wrap those Entrapment legs around his neck, Muccino insists the audience take George at face value when he assures Stacie—while she’s at the final fitting for the dress she intends to wear while marrying Mr. Safe Choice, like, tomorrow—that she was always the only one for him. Playing for Keeps (which went into production under the title Playing the Field, and the disparity between the two says everything about the movie’s emotional dissonance you need to know) is knee deep in “don’t hate the player, hate the game” territory, no more so than when George nearly loses it all in the 11th hour because of the one woman he didn’t f*ck. -Slant
Yeah, but what about when he fights the giant spider in the third act? Yeesh, there’s just no pleasing some people.