film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Players 2024 * * Stars


I'm not gonna lie, most romantic comedies feel dated (no pun intended). They just do. Take 2024's Players for instance. It appears like it's straight from the bin of the early-to-mid 2000s, when stars Kate Hudson, Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Katherine Heigl, and Matthew McConaughey ruled the roost. It's like the evolution of falling in love well, never evolved. "You're gonna go after her?" Not sure on that one honey. 

That's not to say that Players doesn't have a few entertaining moments cause it does. It's about a female sportswriter (Gina Rodriguez as Mack) who decides with her buds, to form a relationship via a guy she had a one-night stand with (Tom Ellis as Nick). Said buds (and Mack herself) do this NFL-style, with an amorous playbook hoping to rekindle the remnant love. The problem is that all the poop jokes, awkward dialogue exchanges, stealth stalking clips, and galling side characters keep getting in the way. I mean almost everyone in Players is in their 30s and they act like they're conveying junior high deportment. Ugh!

X's, O's, and callow besties aside, Players was shot in NYC almost three years ago and is distributed by Netflix (what isn't). And oh yeah, the film has a lead in Rodriquez that is adorable. Players also finds its footing in the last half as the nearly pauper, personas involved just shut up for a second and act human. What Players doesn't have however, is novelty or any kind of break with tradition. I mean when you can predict the ending about 40 minutes into a 105-minute runtime (girl gets guy but not the guy you think she gets), it's time to face "the ugly truth", stick to "what happens in Vegas", or look at "27 dresses" (if you're a girl of course). "Played out". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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