Well, it's been a few months since we've had one of the styling of a good ol' fashioned Disney film, which brings us right up to this Friday's upcoming wide release of "The Game Plan."
Joe is the # 1 quarterback in the US and everyone loves him, even if he something of a glory hog. Joe is living the bachelor's dream of partying it up (though when everyone goes home, it's just him and his dog, Spike). At least, until the doorman calls and says that there is a very cute girl downstairs name Peyton asking to see him, and Joe's cool with sending her to front door.
Turns out that Peyton is the 8-year-old daughter that he never knew he fathered. As Joe stumbles through learning to be a dad to a little girl, he learns that her mom, Sara, died in an accident six months prior and that Peyton ran away to meet him.
And it goes on and on, in much the true Disney fashion. (Y'know, do the noble thing even if it somewhat defies logic, like his running her across town to the hospital when she eats nuts -- she's allergic -- as opposed to hopping in the car or dialing 911.) Disney does deviate from the cliche, "What are you going to do now that you've blah-blah-blah," though, and surprisingly, he's not going to Disneyland. And that's something.
The kids will enjoy it, the moms seems to tear up a wee bit with the story of how Peyton opted to find her dad and how she went about it, so there's something for most everyone. (I held the popcorn, but that's a noble task, too.) W
With a release calendar that spans the dramatic, the bloody, the silly and the sappy, "The Game Plan" manages to land squarely outside of all these buckets and delivers a decent sort of film that we've come to expect from Disney: maybe predictable, but no one much minds.