Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) was once ranked 11th in the tennis world back in the 90's. Now with the prime of his life behind him, ranked number 119, Peter decides to throw in the towel and play his last ever Wimbledon tournament before gracefully bowing out of the gentleman's sport for good and going to work at a tennis club tending to clucky old ladies. All he wants is to go out in style, keep his dignity and try not to cock up too badly. That is, until he meets American tennis sweet-heart Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst). Lizzie is the tennis world's new golden girl, and looks to have Wimbledon in the bag... that is until Peter proves a costly distraction. They instantly take a liking to one another, and their relationship moves pretty quickly into the bedroom. Her side-tracked mind becomes apparent to her ambitious father (Sam Neill) who can feel his daughter's priorities taking a turn. Meanwhile, Lizzie is improving Peter's game by acting as his 'lucky charm'. Now Peter has to ask himself.... can the long-shot win the tournament?
'Working Title Films' are the same lot who brought us "four weddings & a funeral" and "bridget jones's diary" and while they stick to pretty much the same formula with Wimledon, it's a formula that works and produces a satisfying romantic comedy. Bumbling, charming Brit meets American hot-shot. Boy gets girl. Boy loses Girl.... and all the rest.... While this is nothing new essentially, it is still a very great movie.
Paul Bettany is a gorgeous leading man, pulling out all the charms and making himself impossible not to like. Be sure to keep an eye out for Bettany, who is more used to taking the back-seat supporting role in films (A knights tale, a beautiful mind etc...) but after Wimbledon, he has proven himself a more than capable and lovable leading-man.
Kirsten delivers a some-what aggressive performance as Lizzie. Sure she's a head-strong American, but couldn't Dunst have made her a likable head-strong American? It's not a bad performance, just a little 'off' at times, not quite hitting the mark she should have aimed for in this romantic comedy.
Jon Favreau plays Peter's manager, a typically sleazy businessman... but he does it so well, and with such delivery that he's also impossible not to like. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau plays Peter's German friend. It's a small role, but my God, this guy is a hunk and a half. Sam Neill is pretty forgettable, playing a fairly wooden one-dimensional character. The other noticeable performance comes from unknown James McAvoy who plays Peter's annoying brother, Carl. Great comedic timing and genuinely likable.
Wimbledon is filled with quick wit, dry English humor, fantastic (although computer-generated) tennis matches and a stand-out leading man. What's not to like? It's a great film for a good laugh and is a definite pleaser. Game-set-match!
Action / Comedy / Romance / Sport
Action / Comedy / Romance / Sport
Peter Colt, an English tennis player in his thirties whose ranking slipped from 11th to 119th in the world, considers he never really had to fight for anything as his wealthy but all but close family easily put him through studies and allowed him to pursue his tennis ambitions, bravely exchanges jokes with his German sparring partner Dieter Prohl, in a similar position, but feels it's about time to admit he's getting too old to compete with fitter coming men (or boys) and intends, after a last Wimbledon, to take a job with the prestigious tennis club instead. Just then, by accident, he bumps into Lizzie Bradbury, the American rising star of female tennis, falls in love with her and finds her interest in him changes his entire perception, even gives him the strength to win again. But where will it lead them, especially when her overprotective father-manager Dennis Bradbury proves determined to nip their relationship in the bud, believing it detrimental to her career?
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January 03, 2015 at 01:57 AM