Dropping names like players with question marks on ‘Draft Day’
Those who like football will enjoy the drama of Draft Day. For everyone else, the story can be interesting, but there are references that even the casual football fan may not get, especially some of the cameos – like Jim Brown and Bernie Kosar.
Kevin Costner stars as Sonny Weaver Jr., the General Manager (GM) of the woeful Cleveland Browns who have a quarterback, played by Tom Welling, coming off an injury plagued season. The coach, played by Denis Leary, doesn’t like the GM. The owner, played by Frank Langella, threatens the GM with losing his job if he doesn’t make a splash.
If all of this is not enough, Weaver has been dating Ali, the team’s lawyer, played by Jennifer Garner, and she tells him that she is pregnant. Weaver’s mom, played by Ellen Burstyn, stops by to pour dad’s ashes on the 50-yard line of the practice field named for the father. After a day like that, Weaver might be able to say why everything seems to happen at once.
Draft Day raises several questions. Is it an NFL commercial or an ESPN commercial? Is it trying to be Moneyball for football? Garner is dating Costner? What is the age difference? No worries because all will be revealed in the end, except for how the draft affected actual football games. That is what sequels are for.
Garner is truly the gem in the film. Ali provides the love, support and low maintenance that Weaver needs, and Garner provides a likable performance and levity that the film needs. Griffin Newman also provides levity as the resident scene stealer and picked on intern.
In the end, Draft Day is a pleasant diversion with enough cameos to fill a Muppet movie. (Terry Crews, anyone?) It lacks the veracity that Moneyball had, but it does have plenty of football announcers, like Rich Eisen and Chris Berman.
Draft Day opens on April 11, 2014.
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