Peter Colt, an English tennis player in his thirties whose ranking slipped from 11th to 119th in the world, considers he never really had to fight for anything as his wealthy but all but close family easily put him through studies and allowed him to pursue his tennis ambitions, bravely exchanges jokes with his German sparring partner Dieter Prohl, in a similar position, but feels it's about time to admit he's getting too old to compete with fitter coming men (or boys) and intends, after a last Wimbledon, to take a job with the prestigious tennis club instead. Just then, by accident, he bumps into Lizzie Bradbury, the American rising star of female tennis, falls in love with her and finds her interest in him changes his entire perception, even gives him the strength to win again. But where will it lead them, especially when her overprotective father-manager Dennis Bradbury proves determined to nip their relationship in the bud, believing it detrimental to her career? Written by
Scenes were filmed on Brighton beach between 1 September 2003 and 6 September 2003 and involved 250 extras hired from the local public. See more »
In the final match sequence, in the last games of the last set, the shirt Jake Hammond is wearing shows evident folding marks, like he just wore it minutes ago. See more »
We all start off in life with a dream, don't we? For a tennis player, it's being in the final of a Grand Slam, Centre Court, a high lob... a smash. Game, set and match. You're a champion. You're number one. But for most tennis players, that's all it ever is: a dream. The reality is another story. My story. Now, you see that good-looking fella? No, no that kid in white, the other tired good-looking fella. Yeah, him. Well, that's me. British Davis Cup, long time ago. Two ...
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The sport of tennis serves (no pun intended) as a good background in Strangers on a Train and Pat and Mike. As the focal point of a full feature, it has never produced a solid film. Instead, there would be the occasional lightweight drama like Players (Dean Paul Martin and Ali McGraw) which fizzled back in 1980. Wimbledon, while a marked improvement over the former, does nothing to change the status quo.
Primarily a star vehicle for Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman, Bring It On) and rising star Paul Bettany (Master and Commander, A Beautiful Mind), the storyline is the stereotypic budding romance between Dunst who is the up and coming tennis star, and Bettany, the aging midline star who is trying for one last shot at being champion at Wimbledon. Their romance blossoms much to the consternation of Dunst's father (Sam Neill) who fears distractions for his daughter. There are a few subplots involving Bettany's quarreling parents, his playing partner, and his opportunistic agent (Jon Favreau). It's not too hard to figure who might win/lose or where the romance will lead.
Stars Dunst and Bettany are likable and have a nice chemistry but not much script to work with. There are a few nice lines and situations piecemealed throughout, but the plot is paper thin and the dialogue is unimaginative. This was from the people who brought us Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral? Ah, look at the credits more closely and Richard Curtis is missing; not even a Hugh Grant cameo is in sight. Sam Neill, Bernard Hill, and Eleanor Bron (Remember her from the original Bedazzled?) are wasted in minor roles. The tennis scenes are somewhat fun with the stars putting their all in the physical matches, but the tennis balls are almost too perfect as the special effects become too obvious.
Bettany is destined for more substantial roles and Dunst won't be hurt by this lightweight comedy/drama. One could only imagine what they could have done with a more lively script and complex characters. Sure it's nice to look at and the stars are a cute couple, but this was a squandered opportunity.
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