"When you look at me, what do you see?" pontificates football star Joe Kingman, then provides the answer: "Greatness." Well, clearly an ego like that needs to be brought down to size--pint-size. The winning family comedy The Game Plan
has a whole lot going for it, including star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is a natural comedic actor (and the camera loves him), and the young actress (Madison Pettis) who plays the daughter he didn't know he had, Peyton. The plot doesn't break much new ground, since many films have mined the territory of the self-indulgent child-adult who suddenly "inherits" a child (from Three Men and a Baby
to Baby Boom
to Big Daddy
to Raising Helen
). But thanks to the charismatic performance of Johnson, the film is winsome and uplifting. Johnson's comic timing and straight-man face are spot-on, as is his warm chemistry with the sweet-faced Pettis. Also giving notable performances are the lovely Roselyn Sanchez as Peyton's ballet teacher, and Kyra Sedgwick as Kingman's hard-nosed agent who's aghast at the appearance of an out-of-wedlock child. Children and adults both can enjoy the movie's warm-and-fuzzy moral of making family where you find it--or where it finds you. --A.T. Hurley
Family comedy. An American football star's life-of-plenty changes overnight when he meets the daughter he never knew existed. Superstar quarterback Joe Kingman (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson) has a bachelor lifestyle the envy of every male he knows. With a luxury apartment, money no object, and his team heading for the championship, life is looking good for Joe. But when his unknown seven year-old daughter, Peyton (Madison Pettis), turns up on his doorstep, he soon realises that his life is about to change forever. Trying to come to terms with his new-found responsibilities, Joe's attempts to do the right thing aren't helped by his ambitious agent, Stella (Kyra Sedgwick), who'll do anything to keep him at the top of his game.