Monday, December 13, 2010
Sometimes a movie is just plain good. It isn't more, it doesn't pretend to be and it isn't in anyway disappointing because you had a good time watching it. It won't feature in your top 10 recommendations but you will also not dissuade anyone in case they happen to pick the DVD in your presence - Leatherheads is that movie.
A rare comedy centered around an American professional football team set in the 1920s, the movie begins with a memorable sequence. A bunch of players dash across what appears to be a green field and as the camera pans ( or zooms out, can't remember exactly), the viewer sees a couple of cows grazing on the very same field. From that moment on you know, there's something pleasantly quirky about this movie.
George Clooney directs himself and Renee Zellweger in the lead with John Krasinski as the able supporting actor. While the movie primarily focusses on George Clooney's attempts as Dodge Connelly to revive his teams fortunes, it also has a couple of interesting sub-plots that take the movie forward. One of those being journalist Lexie Littleton's (Zellweger) prying attempts to manufacture the scoop of the year for her newspaper Chicago Tribune. The chemistry between Dodge and Lexie is one of the highlights.
A definite flaw with the movie is that it isn't able to decide whether it's a screwball comedy - the premise with which it begins, or a serious sports movie based on facts of the 1920s, or a plain romantic comedy set against the backdrop of professional football. In the process, the movie ends up being a tad too long.
All in all Leatherheads is a commendable effort by George Clooney- a man who increasingly is straddling the worlds of being a director and actor with consummate ease. Watch it because when your friend is picking up the DVD, you really want to say - "It's a good watch."