Review of "Wimbledon" from Viewers, Roger Ebert

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by VamosRafa, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

    May 3, 2004
    This is a thread by those who have seen the movie, please. Por favor. :)

    Others can post in the other thread, or start their own theorizing thread.

    I have seen it, and certainly can appreciate its entertainment value, yet realize that certain things would never happen in the real tennis world, such as the Wimbly semis being played on outer courts, and the players drinking alcohol between matches. There was lots of partying going on between rounds at the Wimbledon movie matches.

    I enjoyed the movie, while realizing its flaws. Still, It was much better than I thought it would be. And as I said below, if Hugh Grant was a few years younger and had played the lead, it likely would have been a runaway hit.

    I'm going to see it again with a friend, and after I do, I'll post more thoughts below.

    Again, I'd like folks who have seen the movie to respond to this thread. Others can respond in the other thread, or start your own.

    But there has to be folks around here who would like to hear from folks who have ACTUALLY seen the movie, instead of those who are theorizing about it.

    Hey, you can go to a matinee for $5.75 or so, depending on where you live. 8)
  2. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

    May 3, 2004
    Guess no one's in a hurry to see the movie, even though we are tennis fans, and had lots of opinions on it before it came out. :lol:

    I promise you, it's better than you think it will be.

    I thought it was going to be horrible, and I was pleasantly surprised.

    It even gets a relatively fresh rating from Which is good for them. They give rotten ratings to almost eveything.

    You can view the whole enchilada at:

    In the meantime, I'll post Roger Ebert's review. I tend to agree with most of his reviews -- more than I did with Siskel:

    WIMBLEDON / *** (PG-13)

    September 17, 2004

    Lizzie Bradbury: Kirsten Dunst
    Peter Colt: Paul Bettany
    Lizzie's dad: Sam Neill
    Ron the agent: Jon Favreau
    Edward Colt: Bernard Hill
    Augusta Colt: Eleanor Bron
    Jake Hammond: Austin Nichols

    Universal presents a film directed by Richard Loncraine. Written by Adam Brooks, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin.Running time: 98 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for language, sexuality and partial nudity).


    "Wimbledon" is a well-behaved movie about nice people who have good things happen to them. That's kind of startling, in a world where movie characters, especially in sports movies, occupy the edge of human experience. What a surprise to hear conversation instead of dialogue, and to realize that the villain may actually be right some of the time.

    The movie stars Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst as tennis pros -- she a rising star, he a fading one. Lizzie Bradbury's greatness is ahead of her, but Peter Colt fears his is all behind. He was once ranked 11th in the world, is now down around 113 and falling. He gets a wild card berth at Wimbledon and vows that, win or lose, he'll retire from the pro circuit after this tournament.

    The two players have parents representative of their respective civilizations. Lizzie's dad, Dennis (Sam Neill), is a hard-driving American control freak who has managed Lizzie's career since she was a child. Peter's parents (Bernard Hill and Eleanor Bron) are rich British eccentrics; his mother potters in the garden, and his father moves into the treehouse after a fight with his wife. Stop to consider how few movie sports heroes even have parents (some do not even seem of woman born).

    Lizzie and Peter have a Meet Cute early in the film, when he is mistakenly given the key to her suite at the Dorchester. She is nude in the shower, but handles the situation with such composure that we wonder if she arranged for him to get the key, especially after, with admirable frankness, she asks him, "Where do you come down on the whole fooling-around-before-a-match issue?"

    She comes down in favor of it, and soon they're snoggling and holding hands. Her father of course believes sex before a match is a drain of precious bodily fluids and warns Peter away. Peter tries to reassure him, but the father says, "This time it's different. She's falling for you."

    And so she is, in a movie where the lovers keep late hours for finalists at Wimbledon. His nightly workouts seem to inspire Peter, who scores one upset after another over highly seeded players. But Lizzie's father is afraid she's tiring herself, tries to hide her, and even tracks the lovers to Brighton in a scene embarrassingly captured on live television.

    All of this is told in a movie more realistic about tennis than about love. The tennis scenes are well choreographed and acted (Bettany looks to me like a competent player). They make sense visually and dramatically, and they evoke the loneliness of a sport where everything depends on one person at one moment in time. Interior monologues allow us to hear Peter talking to himself, psyching himself out, quieting his fears. Is it ridiculous to believe he plays better because he's in love? Of course not.

    But what kind of love is it? On Peter's part, it seems to be old-fashioned over-the-moon romance. But Lizzie is rather alarmingly direct in the way she originally recruits Peter, and later she seems too willing to give him up. Does she use lovers like a convenience? We've seen male characters like this in the movies, but a woman with such a casual attitude is unusual. For that matter, is she really casual? There's a stretch of the movie when we're not sure.

    We're also not so sure we like Ron (Jon Favreau), Peter's once and future agent. He's a little too much of a caricature, and the movie uses his cell phone for easy laughs. Sam Neill, as Lizzie's father, could also be a caricature, but I liked the way the movie backed off toward the end and showed a certain common sense beneath his decisions.

    What I mostly liked was the warmth between the two leads. Lizzie and Peter like each other, and because they share the same profession they have more to talk about then their feelings. We get a sense for what it's like to be all alone on a court with everything depending on you and no possible excuses. This is not a great movie, and you will be able to live quite happily without seeing it, but what it does, it does with a certain welcome warmth.

    Copyright © Chicago Sun-Times Inc

    Again, I'm going to see it again with a friend of mine, and will re-post my views after seeing it again.

    It would be nice to hear from folks who see the movie.

Share This Page