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The Game Plan (2007)

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From IMDB:

An NFL quarterback living the bachelor lifestyle discovers that he has a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (Joe Kingsman) has teamed up with Disney to bring home a feel good movie about learning to live life even when it throws you curve ball. Following traditional Disney formula of having one parent in peril with the other having to be the sole provider is what has worked for Disney and it’s audiences for years now.

Honestly I haven’t seen a movie that ‘The Rock’ has done that it seems like he is having as much fun with as he appeared in this one. With his young co-star Madison Pettis (playing Peyton Kelly, is enjoying a very bright child acting career) they bring that old magic that the big “D” has been needing for a while. Though nothing too original it’s really nice that they can still bring family magic to the screen when so many other companies fail in that area.

The story goes that Joe is a football sensation that is still looking to get his first championship ring despite his talents and being with a good team for years. Life is good for Joe he has a great pad, host big parties, drives a Mercedes SLR and couldn’t ask for anything more in life. That all seems hallow though as you notice with Joe sitting in his big empty pad after one of his parties all alone. After a day or two more of show boating like he has been use to for so long he receives a call from the doorman that he has a visitor. After hearing that she is cute Joe readily tells the voice on the phone to send her up right a way.

Ding dong. Guess who’s at the door? You got it, this cute little 8 year old girl that’s not selling cookies bringing with her some luggage in more respects than the obvious. Joe is taken back by this. Of course there is no way that he could have a child, it’s just not possible. Lo and behold there Peyton stands waiting for her father with open arms.

The rest goes that this really disrupts Joe’s whole life style and he has to learn how to over come his shortcomings as a surrogate parent for a month while still having to concentrate on a championship season that matters so much for him and Boston. Messes abound, spaces are invaded and a whole new way of living is brought forth right before Joe’s very eyes whether he wants to accept it or not. He has to put away his selfish lifestyle and make the best of the situation that he has no control over. Learning to live with bedazzled footballs, losing his precious SLR in exchange for and SUV and learning that his 3 A.M. parties just don’t fit into his life any more through the school of hard knocks. At one point Joe even has to take up ballet lessons to make up for mistakes that he made between Peyton and her teacher for not picking her up on time. This all makes for a story that has plenty of funny scenes.

The story isn’t anything that we’re unfamiliar with. Especially if your a family that has watched just about every Disney movie that is out like ours has. The movie isn’t great but it’s fun and that’s what really matters in a film like this. You have to ask is it something that the family can enjoy or will it just be something that will just pass time? It’s a movie that has enough feel good spots and makes a genuine attempt at showing ‘The Rock’ as a big teddy bear that brings magic to the screen where other actors may have missed the boat on this one. something has changed in the Disney camp to really feel lie they are turning a corner. Coming off the success of Ratatouille it feels like they may be able to restore some faith in their companies production value that they have been missing for quite some time. Frankly I am glad to see Disney making a series of decent films again. We’ll just have to wait and see what they can pull off with their acquisition of Pixar to get back on top with there CG department to finally get ahead of the game away from Dreamworks. They have really missed the boat on the last couple of films with “Chicken Little” and “Meet the Robinsons”

Here’s to looking for some more good to come in the future, and thank you Dwayne for finally making a film that I can sit and enjoy with my family also.

This movie gets 3/5 stars for the script and 4/5 for bringing back the good ole’ formula to the screen.