As bizarre as it is to think that Gabrielle Muccino, the serious minded dramatic helmer of the two Will Smith character pieces The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds is currently filming a broad, soccer mums comedy starring Gerard Butler as a school team’s coach who has a past for womanizing and a current penchant for sleeping with the mum’s of his players, I can’t help but be intrigued by it.
In fact, I might be ready to go against my original summation of Playing The Field two months ago and maybe it won’t be as small minded as I presumed. According to 24 Frames, Stuart Blumberg, the Oscar nominated co-screenwriter of The Kids Are All Right has just been brought in to sharpen Rob Fox’s (So I Married An Axe Murderer) original screenplay and perhaps make it play deeper with more on it’s mind, i.e. more Muccino like.
Now usually re-writing scripts when filming is already underway is a huge ‘deer in the road’ warning and you would be advised to swerve and miss it to avoid a car crash situation, but I’m wondering whether Muccino, who perhaps was originally hired to direct a Joe Popcorn friendly, slapstick romantic comedy, can’t but help himself explore something a bit deeper.
The movie is being described as “a dramedy about soccer, the suburbs and sexual attraction” and “a kind of Shampoo set amid American manicured lawns”, and well, when was the last time you heard of a broad rom-com cite Hal Ashby?
Surrounding Gerard Butler’s troubled father and former semi-pro professional who attempts to make up for lost time by coaching his son’s team to success is his long-suffering American ex-wife Jessica Alba (who he has cheated on whilst playing in Europe and who is now engaged to somebody else) and the various soccer mom’s he gets entangled with, including Uma Thurman (who plays the wife of Dennis Quaid’s rival team coach character in the film) and the newly cast Catherine Zeta Jones (newcaster) and Judy Greer (housewife).
I’m just starting to get a feeling about this one, perhaps it’ll be a Gerard Butler movie post-300 that works.
Playing The Field already has European distribution but is still trying to work out a deal for U.S. distribution.
This article was first posted on April 6, 2011