I’m a sucker for a romantic holiday movie. “Love Actually” from 2003 is probably my favorite. I watch it at least a couple of times around the holidays each year, and it’s sort of become my go to movie to play in the background while I wrap up last minute gifts before Christmas. There’s just something about how love and Christmas sort of come together and the world seems that much sweeter. I’m always looking for another great holiday favorite that will leave me feeling happy and romantic, but with enough plot that I don’t feel like I have wasted my time on a bowlful of saccharin.
Looking over the selections hitting the theaters this Christmas, I wonder if “Playing for Keeps” might be my choice for a romantic holiday date night with my husband. The timing is definitely right. It opens on December 7, in plenty of time to schedule an evening at the movies before Christmas arrives. The film doesn’t look much like a holiday movie, though, but that’s okay. I probably won’t mind at all watching a film set in the summer sun on a blustery December evening.
A great cast
“Playing for Keeps” stars Gerard Butler as a dad, working on his relationship with his son while his ex-wife plans her wedding to another man. His character is a hot, former professional soccer player turned youth soccer coach who has no trouble turning the heads of the single moms at his son’s games. As romantic movies go, I have no problems with Butler as a leading man.
Added to the cast are Jessica Biel, who portrays Butler’s ex-wife, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, a soccer mom who can make Butler’s dreams of success a reality but with some strings attached. Dennis Quaid and Uma Thurman round out the cast in supporting roles.
A touching story
Who doesn’t love the story of a man who realizes that the most important thing he can do in life is step up and be a great dad? A story like that is easy to fall for, especially when that man is ruggedly handsome and funny, and the kid is undeniably cute. But take it a step further. When the man realizes that he really does love his son’s mom, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get her back, too, is that just too much? Oh, I don’t know. I guess it depends on why they split up in the first place.
Based on the film’s preview, this looks like a really heartwarming movie, full of fun and lighthearted moments. It may be the same old story of boy loves girl, boy loses girl, boy wins back girl in a great romantic way, but there’s a reason that old Hollywood formula works. As for me, I think I might set aside an evening for this one. It looks like a great date movie at just the right time of year.
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