I can’t even think where to begin for this blog, which, I’m sure, is partially due to how much I was completely shocked by my total adoration for this movie.
I saw a billboard for Leatherheads at the movie theater when I went to see Michael Clayton back in February, and by the time I actually saw it in the dollar theater a few weeks ago, I’d totally forgotten that it even existed.
Of course, I knew virtually nothing about it, but I like George Clooney and I LOVE John Krasinski (Where, oh where is the Jim to match my Pam in my real-life office?!), so I figured together they could cancel out my mild dislike for Renee Zellweger.
I knew it hadn’t done well in theaters. There wasn’t really a lot of buzz surrounding its release, and there was even less once it was released. February is kind of like the no-man’s land of movies. It seems like all the really great films are released around Christmas time now; just in time to make themselves eligible for the Academy Awards and to keep their film fresh in the minds of the Academy.
Then the awards are at the end of February, so the first of the year is kind of a dead time for movies. One of those times that you really want to go to the theater on Friday night, but you check to see what’s playing and realize there’s either nothing you want to see, or worse, nothing you’ve even heard of. Well, at least that’s my take on things.
So I didn’t really expect much out of this one, which made it all the better that I loved it as much as I did. From the very beginning when I realized that it was set in the 1920s, I was infatuated. Just like I’m fascinated by the Holocaust, if it’s possible, I’m actually more fascinated by the ‘20s. The clothes, the hair, the fashion, the styles: they’re all so enchanting. Even writing that sentence gives me warm fuzzies, makes me giggle like a schoolgirl and leaves a huge smile on my face. I just love that era.
So that was the first point in the movie’s favor. Then it just turned out to be the perfect screwball comedy. You know the type. Most of it is far-fetched and silly and could never happen, but somehow it all just clicks and is delightful.
I laughed out loud the ENTIRE time, and unfortunately for the guy sitting down in the front of the theater, I have a very loud laugh when I’m thoroughly enjoying something.
So I guess I could get around to telling you a little about the movie and shut up about how much I loved it. Clooney, who also directed the film, plays Dodge Connelly, a playboy type who can’t get enough of football even though professional football is a joke.
He hears about Carter Rutherford (Krasinski) a college football star who also happens to be a Great War veteran and hero. You can’t get anymore All-American than that.
Connelly, being a schemer, figures he can use Rutherford’s success to boost the popularity and the budget of pro football. And it works – for the most part. But there’s always a wrench in the system somewhere. It turns out that Rutherford’s hero status might be in question.
Enter Lexie Littleton (Zellweger), firecracker reporter and women’s libber long before there was an official Women’s Lib Movement. Let me just say that if I could somehow raid her clothes from this film, I would beg, borrow and steal my way into a size 0.
Anyway, Lexie is assigned to get the real story of Rutherford’s war experience out of him. No one was bargaining on him falling for her or her falling for him or Dodge falling for her or her falling for Dodge. Who would have thought that a movie about the beginnings of pro football would turn into a romantic comedy?
The screenplay is charming. The characters are refreshing. Don’t let the bad box office showing dissuade you from getting this one from Blockbuster or Netflix. If you can appreciate a quirky sense of humor, great acting and even better writing, you’ll be adding this one to your collection. I know I will.