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 The Game Plan

I went to see the movie “The Game Plan” this past weekend and I‘m very surprised to say this but I really, really enjoyed it.

The trailers for this movie made it look so-so and kinda corny but somehow it all just WORKED.

While the critic in me must nitpick a little about the movie's predictable storyline, the woman/mother in me sniffles (even now, days later) with emotion just thinking about how a big bad quarterback turned into a big, sloppy, lovable mush of a man in about 110 minutes, give or take. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Believe me it would be easy for me to bash this movie (trust me on this; I'm a professional) for being too predictable cookie-cutter but I just can’t. Like some sentimental fool, I allowed all of the sweetness to get the better of me and go straight to my heart.

I was never really into him as a wrestler, but I sure do dig Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a man! (Clears Throat) But enough about that, I suppose you’re here because want to know what this movie is about, right?

So here goes, stop me if you've heard this one before.

“The Game Plan” stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (umm, is he ever going to drop that tag?) as a famous NFL quarterback named Joe Kingman. Joe Kingman is a vain, selfish bachelor who has some wild ways… at least the ones that are approved by Disney that is.

His football team is on its way to the playoffs and Joe is on top of the world, until a little girl named Peyton played by Madison Pettis, shows up on his doorstep claiming to be his daughter that he never knew he had. Joe thinks she’s been left by her mother, but actually this 8-year-old little cutie has put together a Mission Impossible caliber master plan in order to be with him.

Long story short, Joe is about to realize what really matters in life has nothing to do with money, product endorsements or even touchdowns-it’s all about being a good father and winning the heart of the one little fan that matters the most. All together now, “Awww!”

And because this is a movie, Joe’s daughter Peyton has all the answers while he’s kind of an idiot. And as we all know, kids know more than adults, at least in Disney films anyway.

Madison Pettis, is on the Disney Channel’s hit show “Corey in the House.” She does a good job playing “bright and bubbly” and never came across as “annoying cute” that I hate so much. She’s got a career ahead of her, as long as she doesn’t become obnoxious like Raven Simone, that is.

Sure the storyline is exactly what you expect it to be, with Joe at first against the idea of taking care of a kid and then later falling in love with her. Who’d have thunk it?

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He’s a football player, so of course the script has him doing ballet at some point. He’s a selfish bachelor with an awesome high tech apartment, so of course Peyton has some mishaps to destroy it. He has a manly bulldog named Spike, so of course she has to put the dog in a tutu. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen a million times before. But Hollywood wouldn't keep churning out the "bad dad/cute kid" theme over and over again if it didn't work so well ya know.

SideNote: I feel like I must take a moment and thank the writers for what the movie doesn’t do: It never stoops to bathroom humor once not even with the dog. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

There seems to be a predictable movie path that huge, rippling muscle hotties seem to take (woo, is it hot in here?) First, they start off as a bad guy, as The Rock did in “The Mummy Returns.” Then, they step up to be the action hero, as he did in “The Gridiron Gang.” Then, they do the family comedy, as Schwartzenegger did in “Kindergarten Cop”, as Vin Diesel did in “The Pacifier” as well as lest we not forget, as Hulk Hogan did in “Mr. Nanny.”

Now is his time to do the family comedy thing with “The Game Plan.” And he does it well; he brings a lot of heart to this movie, he is able to laugh at himself, and he keeps it from becoming too sweet and syrupy. I think he will be one of the few (okay, only wrestlers) to truly make the leap and crossover and have a decent film career.

I’m not too surprised that he has some talent though; it’s not that much of a stretch for him. It takes a lot of acting abilities to convincing make us believe that he is really body slamming or hitting a guy in the back of the head with a folding chair ya know!

So in the end, sure “The Game Plan” is predictable and simple but The Rock makes this family comedy worth spending a Saturday afternoon watching. Let’s just say I can smell what The Rock is Cooking Jabronis!

At the time of posting, the “The Game Plan” was the number one movie, earning a respectable $22,950,971 tackling out “The Kingdom”.


-Dwayne Johnson didn’t always want to become a wrestler. In fact he began playing football in high school and soon received a full scholarship from the University of Miami where he was a successful football player! He became a member of Miami's NCAA national championship football team in 1991.

- In 1995, he suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL.

- This is the second football-related movie in a row for "The Rock"; he was also in the drama the “Gridiron Gang.”

-Not only was his father, Rocky Johnson, a wrestler, but his grandfather, three uncles, and six cousins have all been in wrestling too.

- Dwayne Johnson owns the rights to the name "The Rock" including logos, phrases, etc.

- For his next movie “Southland Tales” he is dropping the tagname “The Rock”, and is simply going by the name Dwayne Johnson from here on it.

- Did all his own stunts in “The Scorpion King.” (2002).

-Madison Pettis stars in Disney Channel’s "Cory in the House" where she plays the daughter of the President of the United States.

The part of Spike, Joe’s dog, was actually played by two bulldogs named Tubbs and Tank.

Rated PG

Posted by oxyjen on Oct 4, 2007


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