A romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America's nascent pro-football league in 1925. Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero, is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. The captain hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country's attention. Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford, America's favorite son. A golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple German soldiers to surrender in WWI, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. This new champ is almost too good to be true, and Lexie Littleton aims to prove that's the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carter's war story. But while she digs, the two teammates start to become serious off-field rivals ...Written by
Just yesterday, my family and I were itching to go to the movie theatre. After my grandfather recommended it to us for being "hilarious slapstick humour", and after seeing some funny previews, we decided to see Leatherheads. Leatherheads, George Clooney's latest movie, dives into the Roaring 20s, early professional football, the Chicago Tribune, and fake war heroes, all in about an hour and 44 minutes. As unappealing and generic as that might sound compared to the average comedy feature, it was actually a quite fun movie, which is to be expected coming from Clooney.
The movie follows the story of the Duluth Bulldogs, a professional American football team, and its most well-known player, Dodge Connelly. Luck is not always on the Bulldogs' side, as can be interpreted from the outcome of the first game you watch them play, but trickery and cheating is. Dodge becomes infamous for cheating almost every game and leading his team to victory because of it. It was okay then, though. There were no rules to American football early on, and cheating was what made the game interesting. That's one of the main themes of the movie.
After the introduction comes Lexie Littleton (played by Renée Zellweger), a quick-witted reporter for the Chicago Tribune who doesn't like her co-workers too much. After calling them "dimwitted" or something similar for the fortieth time, Lexie is assigned by her boss to a story on Carter "The Bullet" Rutherford (played by John Krasinski), a war hero with a more than embellished story. When she is promised the assistant editor's desk if she brings back some dirt on The Bullet and exposes his fake war story, Lexie sets out on quite the adventure, meeting Dodge and the rest of the Bulldogs along the way.
I know that all of this probably sounds generic to the average moviegoer, but it's actually a quite fresh and fun movie. With any other actor and actress at the forefront at the movie, it may have come off as generic and boring, but Clooney and Zellweger have enough chemistry and enough quirks to make the movie fun. There are also some absolutely classic lines and scenes. It's just a fun movie. Don't expect too much depth, because there really isn't any. This movie is more than enough to quench the thirst of any moviegoer who asks for nothing more than an hour and a half of simple humour and slapstick antics.
The historical accuracy is there. Some scenes are featured in a speakeasy, with a female African-American jazz singer performing. Basically everything you see is typical of the time period. Actually, anyone watching the movie might get a little shock when they hear that coffee is only 10 cents a cup at a diner Dodge stops at early on in the movie. However, on the other hand, some major plot areas are not at all historically accurate, especially relating to the football commissioner, since there was no football commissioner for the NFL until 1941. However, this is perhaps looking too deeply into a fun, casual movie.
The main criticism I have of this movie is that some of the scenes just go on too long, especially the punching scene which was featured in the previews. After they punch each other in the face for the tenth time and finish it off with a bad joke from The Bullet, you already are hoping that one of them will bash the other's skull in by accident or something just so that the scene can end. To offset that, however, there were some very quick and humorous scenes, like the scene in which Dodge first meets Lexie in the hotel and tries to hide his face by reading an issue of a women's magazine.
Overall, Leatherheads is worth it for the entertainment value. The story isn't fantastic, but the acting is enough to make up for it, even if you only pay attention to Dodge's witty exchanges with Lexie. If you don't go in expecting too much, you will leave satisfied, refreshed, and entertained, and that's really all the movie aimed for.
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