They scored a fun and kind of neat cast.
The movie itself feels like a romcom and it suffers from romcom-itis. In other words, the common romcom tropes drag it down when it could have otherwise been a decent flick. Too bad because the cast deserved better.
This movie reminded me a lot of the contemporary romance novel by Rachel Gibson called ANY MAN OF MINE. The male protagonist of PLAYING FOR KEEPS, or rather, his portrayal and the narration, annoyed me a lot. It was way too convenient and suffered from the constant usage of unnecessary tropes, when there could have been an actually good story hidden beneath.. well, the construction that this movie ended up being.
When you have a character who can't take any responsibility, it kind of feels very awful to have him get everything he wants, now that he decided to get it. (Being a father? Check. Getting a career as something other than a soccer player? Check.) Especially when the one thing he isn't responsible for ends up being the final cause of conflict.
I almost quit halfway through, but then decided to watch the rest mainly because I wanted to see how similiar to ANY MAN OF MINE it would ultimately turn out to be. With a story like this, it should be about the kid. Because all the main characters happen to be either HIS parents, or parents of his friends. Too bad the kid was more of a plot device than much else.
I guess, in the end, PLAYING FOR KEEPS gave off a vibe that I just didn't like too much, and with romcoms being what they are, this really killed it for me. If this was a second chance movie, it should have been about second chances, not about having people always give you yet another chance when you really messed up far beyond repair, no matter how redeeming his final act could have been out of context.
Too bad the script wasn't.. you know, better. Could have been an enjoyable romantic comedy with almost realistic angst. The cast would have been worth it.