Gabriele Muccino, who hasn’t made an American movie since 2008’s infamous Will Smith vehicle Seven Pounds (jellyfish suicide!), tiptoes his way back into stateside theaters with Playing for Keeps, a rudimentary rom-com characterized by a laughable lack of consequences. George (Gerard Butler), an electrifying Scottish soccer star whose pro career is halted by injury, has hit some financial turbulence, forced to pawn off his jerseys and boots and take up residence in the guest house of suspicious landlord Param (Iqbal “Funny Pakistani Guy” Theba). Moving to Virginia to be closer to his son Lewis (Noah Lomax) and soon-to-be-remarried former flame Stacie (Jessica Biel), George flounders at first, but finds a niche coaching Lewis’ youth-soccer squad. Of course, he barely gets a practice in before hot moms, from spastic Barb (Judy Greer) and undersexed Patti (Uma Thurman) to retired sportscaster Denise (Catherine Zeta-Jones), start pathetically throwing themselves at him.
George’s goals, so to speak, are to win back Stacie and land a job as a TV analyst. Neither is ever seriously jeopardized by all the booty he inadvertently stumbles into, the worst repercussion being the mild suspicions of Patti’s husband, Carl (Dennis Quaid). The takeaway: If you’re an athlete with an accent, go ahead and bang anything that moves, it’s totally fine. If anything, it’ll help your rueful ex and fragile child forget that you abandoned them.