Wimbledon is a 2004 romantic comedy starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst. It’s directed by Richard Loncraine who’s previous works include an episode of “Band of Brothers” and the cult classic “Slade in Flames”. So how does this offering fare?
Well firstly let’s start with the bad points. The tennis shown in the film is just awful; it’s displayed in a way that makes you assume it must surely be deliberately terrible. It makes you wonder if Loncraine has only ever seen Wii tennis and is now basing a film on that.
Secondly, this is a film where anyone who has ever seen any kind of movie before will be able to say exactly what happens. Let me just set it up for you, Paul Bettany is a mid-ranked tennis player who is competing in his last Wimbledon championship. He falls for Kirsten Dunst who is a leading female tennis player. Now, bearing in a mind that this is a romantic comedy and so they must go through a rough patch, can you guess the plot?
Thirdly, it is just Hollywood sugary, confectionary, rom-com, clichéd bile.
Despite all these things I couldn’t help but be utterly charmed by the film. I thought Kirsten Dunst was absolutely brilliant as the love interest and she is the successful female, the type required in all rom-coms (Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” and “Notting Hill”). Paul Bettany is also fantastic as the down and out tennis player who’s got the money but not the success that he would’ve wished from his tennis career. Throughout Wimbledon his challengers are like characters from Wacky Races and are obviously planned to make you despise them.
So, no it’s not the best film I’ve ever seen, in fact it’s not even in the top 25, but as a purely mindless hour and a half it’s hard to beat. And in a time when Hollywood movies are getting shallower and shallower this is quite a refreshing change. Give me this over “Leap Year” and “The Holiday” any day.
On a separate note as a new addition to this column I will be including a movie trivia section relating to the film reviewed. The 2010 film “Leap Year” includes in the trailer a scene which is 76 minutes into the film, this leaves just 14 minutes of the film not explained by the trailer!
Lastly, a cult classic from the 80’s “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death” is written by J.F.Lawson, the same man who wrote “Pretty Women”, the first is far more romantic, although finding it in video shops is difficult.
And as a quick note from me, this review reminded me of a brilliant song by my idol Ezra Furman - Kirsten Dunst, by Ezra Furman - enjoy!
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