07
Apr
08

Movie Review: Leatherheads

Leatherheads poster

 

Now with 100% pigskin footballs!

 

Starring George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce, and Stephen Root. Directed by George Clooney

 

It was the kind of movie I needed a girlfriend for.

 

George Clooney is “Dodge” Connelly, an aging football player for the Duluth Bulldogs who has been playing “pro” football for the last 20 years. The year is 1925, and football is relegated more to the being a kids/high school sport than something grown men would partake in. When a game against Milwaukee gets cancelled and their own sponsorship gets pulled, the team goes back to their regular jobs (or trying to find one). Clooney then has an insight: try to sign Carter Rutherford (Krasinski).

 

Carter Rutherford is a former high school athlete and a war hero – he got a group of German soldiers to surrender without firing a shot (which is true, and a funny scene). This sounds too bogus for the Chicago Tribune, who send reporter Lexi Littleton to cozy up to Carter and find the real truth of what happened over there (“over there, over there…”) What follows is Carter’s celebrity taking over the Duluth Bulldogs, the love triangle between Lexi, Carter, and Connelly, and the eventual civilization of football.

 

What I enjoyed about this movie is the nostalgia/homage factor. Yeah, the movie felt like it leaned a bit on “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but it never stopped believing it was what it was, a throwback to the comedies of the 20’s-40’s. I best describe it as a football comedy meets “His Girl Friday.” Some of the best scenes involve Zellweger and Clooney exchanging rapid-fire dialog with wit.

 

As for historical accuracy… I’m not quite sure how accurate it is. It does show pro-football changing from playing in dirt fields to becoming a legitimate game, complete with “new rules” (the scene were the referees have to check against the new rulebook is classic). And I think it shows how something that was considered fun became something more serious and in doing so, became boring (any football fans out there still with me?)

 

So, why should you check this one out? It’s probably the easiest “date movie” there is on the block. Also, it’s not a “cynical” movie; everyone is in on what’s going on, and they’re doing what they’re doing for fun. The cast looks like it really had fun making the movie.

 

You also may wanna see it because it’s that different from the usual “blow-em-up”/ murder mystery/ special effects laden movie that you popped into your DVD player this past weekend. And with the minute bit of language it has, it’s pretty safe to take your parents/grandparents to as well.

 

My grade: A (because it was different and made well)

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