Monday, January 21, 2008

Jane's Review: The Game Plan (DVD)

by Jane Louise Boursaw

Reel Rating: 3 out of 4 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild thematic elements.
Theatrical Release: Sept. 28, 2007
DVD Release: Jan. 22, 2008
Genre: Family, Comedy, Sports
Runtime: 110 minutes
Directed by: Andy Fickman
Cast: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Joe Kingman), Madison Pettis (Peyton James), Kyra Sedgwick (Stella Peck), Roselyn Sanchez (Monique), Morris Chestnut (Sanders).

SYNOPSIS: A rugged quarterback learns he has a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. Now he has to figure out how to juggle football practice and parties with bedtime stories and Barbies.

Sex/ Nudity: None, but Joe is shirtless in many scenes and insinuates that he scores with the ladies.

Violence/Gore: Lots of football violence and slapstick comedy (Joe bumps into ballet dancers and knocks them over, Peyton causes him to spatter a blended health drink all over the kitchen).

Profanity: None.

Which Kids Will Like It?
Ages 7 to 14 who like sports, physical comedy, or tough-guy-turns-softie stories. Also, since Madison Pettis is a regular on “Cory in the House,” fans of that show and/or the Disney Channel will like it.

Will Parents Like It? Yes. There’s nothing new here, but it’s a cute movie with a good message about what’s truly important in life (family).

DVD Extras:
ESPN’s SportsCenter: The Rock Learns to Play QB; Bloopers With Marv Albert; Drafting “The Game Plan”; The King in Search of a Ring; Deleted Scenes; Peyton’s Makeover Madness. Available subtitles/audiotracks: English, Spanish, French.

REVIEW: Like so many movies that have come before it (think Vin Diesel in "The Pacifier"), this one follows a pat formula: Tough guy gets thrown into a situation with kids and learns life lessons, such as 1) family is important; 2) fame and fortune aren't everything; and 3) it's ok to let down your guard.

Joe Kingman (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is a star quarterback who parties hard, earns a big paycheck, and plays the field in both sports and romance. But his livin'-large lifestyle gets an overhaul when 7-year-old Peyton (Madison Pettis) shows up at his door claiming to be his daughter. Will Mr. Big-Shot Football Player step up and take responsibility? Or will he pass the buck to someone else?

We know where this is going right from the beginning. It's the "how we get there" that's the question. In Joe's case, he doesn't want to mess up a good thing. His team is on the cusp of a big championship, and he's wanted it for a long time. But how can he focus on that while learning how to be a dad? Bedtime stories, ballet lessons, and Barbies are all new to this muscle man.

And Peyton's girlish antics aren't going over so well. She decorates his trophy football with rhinestones, puts a pink tutu on his bulldog, and turns his workout pool into a giant bubblebath. Joe's uber-intense agent, Stella (Kyra Sedgwick) is no help, since she doesn't have a clue about parenting and is only interested in how much money Joe can earn.

After a series of misadventures involving young Peyton, Joe discovers there's more to life than a big bank account, mega endorsements, and thousands of adoring fans. It's the Disney plot we all know and love – even if we've seen it a thousand times.

Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance journalist specializing in the movie and television industries. Visit her online at or email

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