Leatherheads
PG-13
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: -3

George Clooney, Rene Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce. Romantic comedy. Written by Duncan Brantley & Rick Reilly. Directed by George Clooney.

FILM SYNOPSIS: This quick-witted romantic comedy is set against the backdrop of Americas nascent pro-football league in 1925. Clooney plays Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero who 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 countrys attention.

Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), Americas 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 (Zellweger) aims to prove thats the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carters war story. But while she digs, the two teammates start to become serious off-field rivals for her fickle affections.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Just one fly in the ointment. Well get to that in a moment. First, the positive. George Clooney is incredibly gifted. His looks and persona resonate with those of the stars of Hollywoods Golden Era. (Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable had nothing on this guy.) Hes a true movie star and a talented actor as sly with comedy (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) as he is provocative with drama (Michael Clayton). Whats more, he seems to have spent time watching the work of the masters, from John Ford and Orson Welles to Lubitsch and Cukor, (not to mention the Coen Brothers), for he now applies the same sparkle to the films he directs. To top off his gifts, hes wise. He surrounds himself with cinematographers, art and set decorators and other technicians who make him look brilliant. He knows when to rein in actors and when to give them screen space. Indeed, performers like working with him because he makes them feel important and they trust his judgement. And from all indications, Mr. Clooney is a nice guy. Man, hes got it packaged, doesnt he? When it comes to making movies, hes as good as you get.

And so is this film. With more than a wink and a nod to His Girl Friday, handsome Clooney and hubba-hubba Zellweger banter with zesty repartee seldom seen in todays movies. With its brassy score, golden hue look, and award-worthy art and set decoration, plus a witty script that incorporates the right touches of zaniness, whimsy and heart, the production is the best film of the year well, so far.

Now for that ointment-covered fly. Mr. Clooney uses the expression G..D in nearly every film he stars. He does it here, as well. And to prove that women are just as emancipated as men, Ms. Zellweger also uses the profane term. Now, Ive gone on about this misuse of Gods name a great deal in the past. You know where I stand. Dont have to say anymore. I realize that. But if the worlds biggest movie star uses it in every film, no matter the genre, I intend to rebuff its use and the actors ignoring of the fourth Commandment as often as he brakes Gods rules. (By the way, the film is all about the fun of breaking all the rules.)

All right, so profanity is irreverence toward God, big deal. In the grand scheme of things, profanity falls short as one of the great no-nos. Right? Wrong! Showing reverence toward the Almighty, which includes not taking His name in vain, is right at the top of the list of Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20. This ruling comes before covetness, adultery and, yes, killing. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name (Exodus 20:4 NIV).

Every time I hear George Clooney take Gods name in vain I wonder if he knows its like fingernails on a chalkboard to Believers? Would that fact make him more circumspect concerning its use?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Universal

Summary
Crude Language: A couple of mild sexual innuendos.
Obscene Language: Three obscenities and a few minor expletives.
Profanity: Around ten profanities (the misuse of Gods name).
Violence: Two barroom brawls and some football field rampage.
Sexual Intercourse: A couple of implications and some sexual innuendo, but no graphic depictions of sexual activity.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Drinking throughout; barroom drunk scenes played for laughs.
Other: None
Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

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