Ok.. so I'm not up on my sports here, alright? I tried playing tennis once. Even bought a really cool racquet so I'd be cute while I lost. Unfortunately I had a very exacting and perfectionist teacher who demanded I try to do more than have fun with it, so now I have a bit of a mental block regarding this sport. Then here comes a movie called Wimbledon and the wankers have the bollocks to cast Paul Bettany in the lead, insuring that I would eventually cave in and see it. Bluddy Brits.
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What we have here is an old tennis pro (Bettany) on his last tournament before retirement. He's slid from number 11 to number 110 (or somesuch) and really just wants to bow out as gracefully as possible. That is, until the hotel gets the keys mixed up and he walks in on up-and-coming tennis pro Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) completely starkers in the shower. You can bet that catches his interest all righty...
We spend the next 98 minutes mostly watching tennis matches and in between there's a bit of romance and a bit of strife. Sounds perfectly wretched, dunnit? Well, it isn't. I was glued to the screen and even flippin cried at the end. (If you tell anyone I said that I'll deny everything...)
It isn't as if you don't know exactly how things are going to turn out here, but it still got to me for some silly girly reason. Possibly simply because Bettany has been a favorite of mine ever since I had the good luck to buy A Knight's Tale and see him show off his skinny-yet-cute nekkid rear end. He just had such a sense of free-wheeling fun about him in that, and it does carry over to this one. Bettany is just flat a very likable guy and his characters follow suit. He was an excellent choice for the lead in this, and I hope to see him in more lead roles from now on.
I'm not a major fan of Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman, Bring It On), however. I don't hate her, she's sorta, well, there. Yanno? I suppose she did alright in this. She didn't ruin it or anything, there were a few moments of genuine acting here and there even. Overall though I think someone else could have brought the character of Lizzie alive just a bit more.
Wimbledon is Rated PG-13 for language, sexuality and partial nudity. Yeah well you know how I feel. I'm saying any age that show an interest should be ok. There's a few swear words tossed about but they aren't real prevalent or anything. I'm thinking few kids would have an interest in this anyway unless they're just budding tennis pros...
This is a love story that happens to revolve around tennis. That's the long and the short of it, really. So if you like that sort of thing then you are sure to like this. You don't have to be really into tennis, I'm not and I liked it. I'm going with 4 stars. It's a good way to spend a rainy night... and besides, Bettany does show his nekkid butt again....
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