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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Kerrie Mur­phy

LEATHER­HEADS is one of those movies that made me crest­fallen that I didn’t like it more. Not be­cause Ge­orge Clooney is a name I can’t say without an ac­com­pa­ny­ing lit­tle sigh ( al­though, sigh ), but be­cause it’s an idea that I so wanted to work. And it al­most does. Clooney, who also di­rected, plays Jimmy ‘‘ Dodge’’ Con­nelly, an age­ing foot­ball player in the 1920s, when pro­fes­sional foot­ball was on the verge of be­com­ing re­spectable. With his team in dire straits, the wily and charm­ing Dodge re­cruits a young col­lege foot­ball star and war hero Carter Ruther­ford ( The Of­fice’s John Krasin­ski), just as an am­bi­tious young re­porter, Lexie Lit­tle­ton ( Re­nee Zell­weger), starts to poke a few holes in Carter’s fight­ing record. As a mod­ern Cary Grant, Clooney is the ideal man to bring back screw­ball ro­man­tic come­dies and it’s great to see rom- coms that ap­peal to an older au­di­ence. Clooney con­tin­ues to show a flair for evok­ing a film’s pe­riod set­ting in his third di­rec­to­rial ef­fort, and the mo­ments that charm are out­stand­ing: the crack­ling, sex­ual ten­sion- laced ban­ter be­tween Lexie and Dodge is fun to wade into and the pair’s pur­suit by the po­lice is silly fun. But there are just too many sto­ries on the go to al­low view­ers to in­vest in any of them, and over­all the film just doesn’t feel snappy enough. It’s prob­a­bly only a 21/ star ef­fort but I felt com­pelled to add an­other half in ac­knowl­edge­ment of what it tries to achieve.

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