The Game Plan


Directed by: Andy Fickman
Written by:Nichole Millard, Kathryn Price
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick, Roselyn Sanchez, Morris Chestnut
Released: November 1, 2007
Grade: B-

This isn’t my kind of movie.  It’s a G-rated Disney flick that panders to the audience and makes no sense at all.  It’s predictable, formulaic, cliché-ridden, etc, etc, etc.  That said, I respect the film for what it offers.  There’s a market for this type of movie and judging from the box-office returns, a lot of people have liked it.

It centres on an ageing football named Joe Kingman (Johnson) who is the star quarterback for the Boston Rebels.  The most important person in Joe’s world is himself.  He loves watching himself on television has pictures of himself on the walls of his luxury apartment.  I wouldn’t call him arrogant but I don’t think he’s someone I’d be friends with.

Out of the blue, an 8-year-old girl turns up at his doorstep and proclaims to be his daughter.  Her name is Peyton (Pettis) and after some quick background checks, Joe realises that she’s telling the truth.  He didn’t even know he had a daughter.  Young Peyton tells Joe that her mother has gone on an overseas trip and that he has to look after her for a month.

This doesn’t sit well with Joe who is trying to focus for the upcoming play-offs.  He’s trying to win a championship ring for the first time.  He takes her in however and over the next month, his world will be turned upside down.  She maybe a handful to take care of but Joe learns a valuable lesson in the process.

I’m sure there are quite a few viewers who will find this funny and entertaining.  It’s squarely aimed at a family audience.  The jokes are easy to get and the story is easy to follow.  There may not be any realism but you can always rely on the excuse that “this is only a movie”.

I found it to be pretty standard in that there are no real surprises and you get what you expect.  If you’ve seen the trailers/ads and liked the look of it, you’ll probably enjoy it.  So whilst I was bored to death by most of film, I’ll cut it some slack given that I’m not part of the target demographic.