Joe Kingman is the star QB the Boston Rebels still in search of a championship. He’s selfish and arrogant, two things that don’t go very well with having a kid. Luckily he doesn’t… or so he thinks! That’s right! His daughter shows up and totes turns his life upside down. Can he learn to laugh and love (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… The Game Plan.
How?! ‘Never Say No’ Joe Kingman is the star QB of the NOT NFL pining for a NOT Super Bowl. Nothing will get in his way because he is selfish and arrogant and that’s a winning combination in his book. His arrogant selfish world is turned upside down, though, when the daughter he didn’t know he had shows up at his doorstep. All of a sudden he can’t have dates with terrible actresses pretending to be Russian, watch the big Celtics games with his bros, or open flashy restaurants with his celeb friends. Instead it is all ballet, dressing his macho dog in a dress, and sleeping on the couch for this dude. Pretty lame, right? Not so fast. Through it all he finds that perhaps the winning ingredient for his life wasn’t arrogance or selfishness, but was in fact… love. Awwww. He learns this valuable lesson and wins his way to the NOT Super Bowl, only to have his daughter taken away due to custody issues. Dismayed he plays like shit in the big game until his daughter shows up and is like “I don’t care if you’re injured. You better win or else I won’t be proud of you.” Or something to this effect. He storms back, wins the big game, wins the hearts of his fans and daughter and also her ballet teacher. Duh. THE END.
Why?! Now Joe Kingman thinks all he want in life is a championship because winning is everything and he’s an arrogant asshole. But he soon finds out that having a family is super important too awwwwww. His daughter just wants the love of a father… oh and also really wants him to win. Stop being such a wimp, Joe, and get back in that game. Your daughter is skeptical about the severity of your shoulder injury.
What?! Nary a product placement to be seen. Psych! This is more or less an extended commercial for ESPN and all of ESPN’s favorite personalities. It was great and terrible at the same time. Throw in some clips from our favorite Disney shows and people smashing Dasani’s left and right and you got a product placement classic.
Who?! God do I have to? There is almost too many cameos to list. Boomer Esiason and Marv Albert announce all the games in the film and Stuart Scott (and other ESPN personalities) are shown in clips throughout. A large number of sports reporters are seen in a press conference scene including John Clayton. Finally, Joe open a restaurant in the middle of the film which features most of the Celtics at the time (including Paul Pierce), the Maloof Brothers (weird), and other athletes like Eddie George. Oh and Joe’s bulldog is played by Tubbs. Awwwww.
Where?! It’s hard to remember a film more set in the Boston than this one. It is Boston 100% all the time. I wouldn’t typically give this an A because technically he could have also been playing for the *gasp* New York Dukes (say it ain’t so, Joe). Not required by the plot that it take place in Boston but… I’m gonna relent. This is a solid A setting.
When?! A little Secret Holiday Alert for this one as we open the film with the Boston Rebels making the playoffs and celebrating with a New Year’s Eve celebration. The rest of the movie takes place during the month of January as Joe pursues a Not Super Bowl. This is despite showing clips from a Celtics-Trailblazers game that took place on November 10th, 2004 (a buzzer beater by Pierce). So I guess in The Game Plan alternate universe this exact same game took place in January of 2007. A.
While this movie is perfectly fine as a bit of light family fun, and I’m sure Patrick will reiterate that point, I do have one major point to make: Is this not the exact same movie as Old Dogs? The very same movie that was one of the most absurd, great, and horrible things we’ve gotten to watch? It’s pretty crazy how similar the plots are. A professional associated with the business of sports finds out he has a kid that he didn’t know existed and has to take care of her in a bachelor pad while his agent (friend) who thinks of the kid only as a hindrance attempts to help out. There are even specific details that seems crazy similar like how the mother of the kids in Old Dogs is going to jail for a little while protesting as an environmental activist, while the aunt of the kid in The Game Plan is flying off to the Sudan to bring fresh water to villages. They are both in this pickle not because they are bad but are in fact doing something noble? How strange. Is it possible that The Game Plan was some ripoff of a treatment for Old Dogs? I’m not going to speculate, but also that’s my speculation. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! You know what most fish-out-of-water family comedies are missing these days? A sinister underlying social commentary about the link between sub-concussive blows to the head and long-term brain disease … Let’s get into it!
The Good – One of the best kid actors we’ve seen I think. She was preeeeeetty precocious. Dwayne Johnson, excluding the one time he tried to sing, was pretty okay as well. My heart was sufficiently warmed. Honestly, if you ignore all of the football stuff the film was actually not half bad.
Ps View on the Preview – This film is basically Old Dogs … but Old Dogs is crazy. Like super entertainingly bad. Somehow I knew it was impossible this could ever live up to that, but the parallels are ridiculous: A fish-out-of-water father needs to suddenly care for the child(ren) he never knew existed, but his high flying life in the sports entertainment industry just keeps on getting in the way! What a Fish Out of Water!!
The Bad – The football part of this film is at once ridiculous (the best is Dwayne Johnson just wandering onto the field in the middle of play forcing his coach to suddenly take an impromptu timeout in order to avoid a too many men penalty, presumably. Keep your head in the game Joe!) and also ludicrously entertaining. There is zero chance though that they would allow the star QB of the Boston Rebels (currently participating in the NFL playoffs) to just star in a Boston Ballet school performance. Mostly the film just felt pointless, a family comedy that just kind of doesn’t exist anymore.
Get Yo Rant On! – You can basically figure out the entire playoff bracket from this film. The Boston Rebels make the playoffs as a Wild Card in the AFC. They defeat Denver in Denver to start the playoffs. I think the most likely scenario is that the Rebels were the sixth seed because they (1) locked up their playoff spot in week 17 which is very late, and (2) the Steelers had just won as a sixth seed for the first time ever in 2005, so it makes sense that this might reflect on that a bit. This makes Denver the 3 seed having won the West. The Rebels then play the number one seed Indianapolis (who is helmed by Peyton Manning who exists in this universe), and then … and here’s the rant: it is extremely unclear who they play in the AFC Championship game. Online it says Baltimore … which I think makes sense only from a Baltimore-as-the-two-seed-from-the-North makes sense given the bracket, but still. You have to give me more! Who won the East for godsake!! You give me so much, and yet it only leaves me wanting more Game Plan!
The BMT – It could only really have a legacy by standing next to Old Dogs to prove that that films is as absurd as we think it is. The Game Plan is the same story but told in a reasonably coherent way, whereas Old Dogs is pure distilled lunacy. I think that is fun … but unlikely I’ll ever watch this again.
Welcome to Earf! – This is easy. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in this and Be Cool with John Travolta who was in Old Dogs with Robin Williams who was in Big Wedding with Robert De Niro who was in Righteous Kill with Al Pacino who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!
StreetCreditReport.com – Of course this doesn’t have much street cred. I did find a list of The Rock films ranked from worst to best and this was 16th on that list. Interestingly they suggest Dwayne Johnson wore a tutu in the film. He did not, once again proving that most of the bad movie media is a vicious lie. Only trust The Bad Movie Twins for all of your Bad Movie Media needs.
No homework luckily, so I’ll leave it there.