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WIMBLETON, 2004
Movie Reviews!

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WIMBLETON,  MOVIE POSTERWIMBLETON, 2004
Movie Reviews

Directed by: Richard Loncraine

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Sam Neill, Jon Favreau, James McAvoy
Review by Jarred Thomas


SYNOPSIS:

A pro tennis player has lost his ambition and has fallen in rank to 119. Fortunately for him, he meets a young player on the women's circuit who helps him recapture his focus for Wimbledon.

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REVIEW:

While conventional on every level with no surprises and predictable twists, Wimbledon has enough sharp dialogue, likeable characters and a charismatic cast that help to keep this film afloat from dipping into mediocre territory. In a role that could have easily gone to Hugh Grant, Peter Colt (Bettany) is a well respected and highly ranked professional tennis player who has become tired of it all and has decided that this will be his last tournament of his professional career. But soon he discovers his last tournament maybe his greatest moment.

Despite the growing cynicism among in the tennis community, Peter is determined to not only make it to the end but to win the tournament altogether. However, he too starts to doubt himself knowing that his tennis opponents are younger than he is. Peter running across the court whacking the ball here and there finds that he’s not quite as limber as he used to be, but his will is still strong.

The answer to his struggle comes in the form a young brilliant tennis player, Lizzie Bradbury (Dunst), who falls for Peter, and vice versa. Lizzie’s skill is on par with Maria Sharapova, and she is just as focused to win Wimbledon. The more and more Peter spends time with Lizzie, the better his game gets.

But while his improves, her game begins to suffer eventually costing her a major game. Her father played by the underrated but always appreciated Sam Neil believes that her loss came from spending too much time with Peter and getting distracted.

Her loss causes a rift in their relationship and although Peter agrees that his game improved while with her, he’s more concerned about losing Lizzie than anything else. The chemistry between Paul and Kristen is obvious and helps to keep the film engaging. Their dialogue together with Kristen’s playful flirty sarcasms playing off well against Paul’s self deprecating humor and honesty is great to watch. The characters competitive nature of their love also gives a new fresh twist.

That’s another element to the story that keeps it above average. The characters are appealing and fun. In addition to his scenes with Lizzie, Peter’ scenes with his best friend/opponent Dieter are great. Jon Favreau also has a nice small role playing a variation of his staple characters from other films as a charismatic agent who represents both Peter and Lizzie.

Wimbledon is a fine film. There’s nothing fresh, new or original about it, but there’s enough material here to provide some satisfaction and entertainment that sidestep the boredom of clichéd storylines. Wimbledon is a pleasant experience.

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