Ken's Review: Leatherheads - About Much More Than Just Football
by Ken Evans
April 4, 2008
There are some movies that just make me smile. These are the movies that you walk out of feeling like every complication in life isn't as big of a deal as when you had walked in the theater. Leatherheads is a film that made me feel this way. This is a story about overcoming everything so that you can do what you want to do. It's about fighting for your dreams and doing whatever it takes to see those dreams realized. It's about trying to keep that thing you love the same when everyone else wants to change it. It might not be a perfect film, but its one I'm definitely going to see again.
Jimmy 'Dodge' Connelly (George Clooney) is the captain of the Bulldogs, a pro football team based in Duluth during the early 1920's. Before pro football was organized it didn't have rules and that's exactly the way Dodge liked it. Unfortunately, to most people pro football was a joke and the Bulldogs were disbanded due to the lack of any incoming money. Then Dodge gets word of Carter 'The Bullet' Rutherford (John Krasinski) who is a war hero and college football player. Turns out that people come to see Rutherford play by the thousands. Dodge decides to come up with a scheme to convince Rutherford to play for the Bulldogs giving the whole team a chance to play again. What Dodge wasn't prepared for was Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger), a reporter interested in blowing the lid off of Rutherford and his supposed war hero story.
George Clooney has turned out to be a director to take notice of. After directing both Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Good Night, and Good Luck, he shows us once again that he has what it takes with Leatherheads. Admittedly not as great as his previous two films, it is still nothing to be laughed at. He definitely has an eye for telling a story and bringing out memorable performances from his cast. Not to mention the fact that he not only directs Leatherheads, but also stars in it. I have mentioned before how much I enjoy watching Clooney on screen and once again he doesn't disappoint. He is able to play these slapstick period pieces wonderfully while just coming off a heavy drama like Michael Clayton. He is truly one of my favorite actors currently working in Hollywood.
I would see John Krasinski in anything just because of his role on "The Office". He is really growing as an actor and just the fact that he was able to perform in the same scenes as Clooney and Zellweger says a lot. Speaking of Zellweger, she was great as always. Not many actresses hold a candle to her and she proves it once again in this movie. Even in a slapstick comedy, her talent as an actress shines.
Like I said above, this film made me smile. I love these period pieces that have romance mixed in. During the movie I couldn't help but think of Down with Love and The Hudsucker Proxy. I really enjoyed both of those films in the same way as Leatherheads. There is so much mixed in besides just football. It's a movie about love, duty, honor, and standing up for what you believe in. These ideas were emphasized much more than just the gritty sport of football.
I wasn't able to see anything else that came out this weekend yet. There was a screening of The Ruins last night that I was going to go to, but I got really sick yesterday morning and couldn't make it. However, looking at what was released I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the film to watch. If you're not in the mood for horror movie, a band documentary or a kid's film that looks extremely boring, then Leatherheads is for you. This is a fun movie for anyone. Take a date, take your family, or just see it with some friends. There is something for everyone.