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The way we see it, Gerard Butler has a coin that he flips when it’s time to choose a role. If it lands on one side, he does a bloody action thriller along the lines of 300, RocknRolla, Gamer or Law Abiding Citizens. But if the coin lands on the other side, he does a predictable romantic-comedy along the lines of The Ugly Truth, P.S. I Love You or the upcoming Playing for Keeps, which co-stars Jessica Biel and just dropped its first official trailer:
First, let’s focus on the reasons Keeps might be worth watching. Butler’s not a terrible actor. He just makes terrible choices when it comes to certain roles. But Keeps director Gabriele Muccino made the heartfelt tearjerker The Pursuit of Happyness, so it’s possible that this picture taps into a similar up-by-your-bootstraps mentality and becomes the feel-good movie of the holiday season. (It comes out in December.)
Then again, did you see that trailer? Oy. A former soccer star watching his beautiful ex-wife (Biel) move on? ESPN coincidentally looking for an expert soccer commentator … and knowing the former sportscaster (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who might be able to help Butler get the gig? Yeesh. Too early to wave the white flag?
Look, there’s definitely an audience out there for pre-packaged happiness that seems to be offered up by the likes of Playing for Keeps. And they’ll likely devour this movie with a spoon. But the competition in December includes Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, Judd Apatow’s This is 40 and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. Maybe if all of the above were sold out, we’d give Keeps a spin … but even that’s not a guarantee.