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I never really thought it was possible that I would ever openly agree with my friend Dave. However a few weeks ago a friend of mine dragged me to see Wimbledon, (yes the same friend that dragged me to see Taxi) a film that I have on good authority Dave gave a good review to. Anyway to cut a long story short, the end must be nigh because Dave actually got one right. Wimbledon stars Paul Bettany as tennis ace Peter Colt. His games been going a little downhill lately and he can''t seem to get the reporters to look away from the younguns long enough to announce that this year will be his final tournament. However the night he arrives at the hotel he walks into the wrong room and discovers the gorgeous American player Lizzie Bradbury (played with confident charm by Kirsten Dunst) and the 2 hit it off. He''s soon gained the attention of the reporters for reasons other than his tennis skill, but finds problems when he realizes that his feelings for her drive him to play well, while her feelings for him are distracting her on the court. It''s actually a pretty good story too. As far as romantic comedies go it''s one of the few that manages to be both funny and romantic. On top of the witty banter shared between the central couple there was also a lot of fantastic humor based around Peter''s family, such as his brother going into a betting shop and betting everything against him while at the same time using his relationship with his brother to score. I also picked up on a few moments that made fun of the press, particularly their obsession with youth over experience, and sex over skill. However while there were certainly a lot of laughs to be had that in no way diminished the films dramatic appeal. As the relationship between Peter and Lizzie developed you found yourself caring about the outcome. You felt his plight whenever her father tried to intervene, and his satisfaction whenever the 2 were together. Likewise you were able to feel Lizzie''s confusion based around her duel desire to be with him, but at the same time please her father by avoiding the distraction and winning the tournament. It meant that you genuinely cared about the outcome of each and every match and for the first time in history something as boring as tennis became something genuinely tense to watch. Of course it''s largely down to the cast list that this is true. you could look to the one part sleazy two parts caring performance by Sam Neill in the role of Lizzie''s father. Or even the fun loving support of Bernard Hill and Eleanor Bron as Peter''s doting parents, since either way you''ll find people who fit their characters well enough to make you believe their motives and care about the outcome. However it''s the central duo that impress the most. Both Bettany and Dunst have a confidence about them that infuses energy into their scenes of banter, but at the same time manage to bring alive the teary scenes at the heart of the romance. Unfortunately as well as they work individually I never really felt that they worked as a team. (Oh god, I sound like Dave again)While both of them are technically good there''s just no spark between them. I don''t know, maybe it''s just the age gap, but I haven''t seen chemistry this subtle since Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones were getting their groove on in Entrapment. It''s a shame because a lack of on screen chemistry is a severe problem for a film of this genre, and it really does spoil what is otherwise a funny, charming little flick.
For my birthday a few years ago, I decided to eat out at my favourite Mexican restaurant and to go to the cinema to see two films. The first of these films was Wimbledon - the latest (at the time) release from Working Title, who can always be relied upon to give you a good film. In fact, many of my favourite films are from Working Title - My Beautiful Laundrette, Wish You Were Here, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary. Wimbledon is another really good film from them. Although you could accuse it of being formulaic and predictable, it's also entertaining, highly enjoyable and a feel good movie.
The film is set around the Wimbledon tennis championships where American star Lizzie Bradbury is expected to do very well. On the other hand, British player Peter Colt is 31 and is expected to be knocked out early on, in which is due to be his last tournament before he retires. The tournament provides an exciting backdrop for their budding romance. Will their unlikely love affair ever prosper? Will it adversely affect their play? Will either of them - or both of them - become Wimbledon champions?
The stars of the film are Paul Bettany as Peter and Kirsten Dunst as Lizzie. Paul is an all round good bloke by the looks of it and I really like him. I saw him interviewed on Jonathon Ross and he came across as very unpretentious, witty and funny. Similarly, Peter Colt is a real sweetie. He has a bit of the Hugh Grants about him - a bit bumbling at times, very English - but with an added depth, an added vulnerability. By the end of the film, I would happily have swung a racket in exchange for a quick snog from him!
Kirsten Dunst is not an actress I particularly like, but she came across really well in Wimbledon. Okay, so the role of an American tennis star might not be the most challenging, but she portrays it really well with charm and warmth. She is believable as Lizzie and displays a natural beauty and elegance in the part.
The film has many really good characters and an impressive cast list. The more minor roles are played with great aplomb and the lesser plot threads are carried along well by them. British veteran actors Bernard Hill (sans beard) and Eleanor Bron play Peter's parents, Edward and Augusta, who are going through a crisis in their long marriage. They get less air time than they deserve, but they have some of the most poignant scenes in the film and are memorable characters.
Sam Neill has little to stretch him as Lizzie's father and tennis coach, Dennis, but he performs well enough. Robert Lindsay is woefully underused as Ian Frazier, who is trying to get Peter Colt to become his Director of Tennis after he retires. James McAvoy has some great lines as Peter's younger brother, Carl, who carries the running joke of betting against Big Bro at every opportunity.
Special notice should be made of Danish-born Nikolaj Coater-Waldau who plays Dieter Proll, Colt's best friend and training partner. Dieter is slightly under-developed, but does well with what he has and Nikolaj portrays him in a way which infuses him with heart and humour.
The cinematography throughout is stunning. The tennis is never dull to watch, even for people who abhor sport. There are so many different photographic techniques used, including zooming, freeze frame and slow motion, so that it becomes an art form. The director seems to instinctively know when the drama of the match itself needs to be left to straight shots and when the effects should be used. It all adds to the tension and excitement of the plot and makes it a beautiful piece of filming.
The film benefits from the two parallel storylines - the romance and the tennis. Both develop at a good pace and hold the viewer's interest throughout. The film seems to be over too quickly, which can be a good thing, as it never drags or feels boring. I felt I would have liked it to be another 15-30 minutes longer though, so we could have seen more of the lesser characters. At a time when most films seem to last around two hours, this one seemed to fly by at only 98 minutes long.
Wimbledon is rated a 12, as it has a few minor swear words and some sex scenes (but you really don't see anything). It is a good film for all the family to sit around - parents, grandparents and kids aged over ten or eleven. My husband really enjoyed it, as did my fourteen year old daughter (who saw it earlier with her friends).
It's not a deep, thoughtful film which will make you think about world issues. It is a light, entertaining film which will captivate you and leave you smiling. A wonderful feel-good movie which I loved and will buy, when it comes out on DVD.
As a Brit, while I don't really like watching tennis much, I am quite proud of the Wimbledon tournament, and would quite like to see a Brit win it again one of these days. So a film about a Brit trying to do just that appealed to me. It is also a romantic comedy, which being a fairly typical girl, also appealed to me.
The film focuses on Peter Colt - a once okayish, but now fading fast English tennis player. He isn't sure what to do with his life now he's sure he won't be playing tennis professionally again, and toys with the idea of becoming a tennis coach to pampered middle aged ladies at a posh country club. Before that though, he has a shot at Wimbledon, and while he has been there before (though of course has never won), this time it will be his last time in the competition. He expects to do poorly, and his family expect him to do poorly. His mother doesn't watch his matches and his younger brother thinks of him as a sure fire way of making money - by betting that his opponents will win the matches. So, Peter goes to stay at the hotel that all the players are staying in with low expectations of himself, and worries about his future.
Once there, he meets the beautiful, talented Lizzie - an excellent tennis player from the US who is tipped to win the ladies tournament. Suddenly Peter has more in his life than just tennis, and he starts to feel a bit more positively about things because of this.
Paul Bettany plays the lead very well. I have no idea whether he's good at tennis in real life or not - but they make him look as though he is. The viewers come to care about him, and there are a couple of tense nailbiting moments, the same as there are when watching a real sports match. Kirsten Dunst played her character quite well, but personally I found her a little annoying and selfish. But then again, she was hailed as a bit of a 'wild child' tennis star in the film, so I think she's probably meant to come over as a bit selfish!
The way Peter's family develop is nicely played out, and there are some funny scenes with his mum and dad, who have a slightly odd relationship.
The film has a good pace, and there is enough tennis action and enough dialogue and romance.
Paul Bettany plays Peter Colt, a british tennis player who is very close to the end of his career, without ever really getting the success he had always dreamed of.
After deciding to move on from tennis as a pro he gets a wild card to play at the Wimbledon championships and makes the decision that it will be the last time he plays pro.
After getting ready for his final appearance, Peter meets Lizzy (Kirsten Dunst) a young female tennis pro who is tipped to win Wimbledon, and immediately falls for her. Then after surprisingly winning his first match, Peter begins to develop a realtionship with Lizzy and somehow rediscover his form.
As time moves on and Peter begins to become Englands dark horse, emotions run high as Peter and Lizzy start to question what they really want in life.
Paul Bettany was not well known to me before I watched this but after seeing his performance I have to admit that I went out and tried to find other films he had starred in. I thought he was particularly good in this and in my mind, without the corney smile, I think he is the next Hugh Grant for having a brit in romcoms, although he does play a great action bad guy too!
One of the things I found surprisingly good in this was how well the tennis games were filmed. If I didn't know any better I would have believed the games were actually being played?????
Kisten Dunst and Bettany seemed to work well together in this, even with the large age gap and they made the film what it was, fun to watch and great to get yourself involved with where the love story was concerned.
Although I found the love story good and humour excellent, I have to admit that what made this film for me was the actual tennis matches. Bettany was fantastic and really had me gripped during his games. What I would call the Rocky of the tennis world.
If you can you should definitely watch this, I would certainly recommend it.
You can pick it up for less than a fiver from Amazon and the run time is an easy 1 hour and 34 mins. It is aslo rated at 12.
As far as special features go, this does not have anything special, just a great film!
If you like tennis especially watching it at Wimbledon you will probably like this film. Some of it is actually filmed at Wimbledon as you will see if you watch the extras that come with the film.
The film came out in 2004 and features Kirsten Dunst as Lizzie Bradbury and Paul Bettany as Peter Colt. They are both tennis players, he is British and battling to save his career where as she is from the US and a big star.
They meet and there is a big attraction between them but Lizzies Dad, Dennis Bradbury, played superbly by Sam Neill, tries to keep them apart.
There is this story going on and also the story about Peters family, his mum Augusta played by Eleanor Bron and his Dad played by Bernard Hill, and younger brother Carl played by the rather lovely James McAvoy (Last King od Scotland and Atonement). Peter's mum and dad are not getting on and he moves out to live in the shed in the garden and watches the tennis on a tv out there. The storyline between them and also about the brother is really funny.
The film was well shot and the special effects were really good. On the extras it tells you how they did a lot of the shots and it was really interesting to see them do it. It certainly made them look like they were great tennis players.
It is a romantic film and would probably appeal more to the girls than the fellas but I watched it with my other half and he said it was ok lol so couldnt have been that bad for him.
The director of the film was Richard Loncraine and it is rated a 12A in the Uk
This week seen me watching a film that ordinarily wouldn't be my kind of film. The only way I could think to describe it would be chick flick and add to that the fact its about a sport I don't really watch the question must be why? Well the answer to that question is quite simple. The film stars Kirsten Dunst and that for me was reason enough to subject myself to sitting and watching Wimbledon for an hour and a half. It's not normally my type of film but I even found myself watching Bring It On due to the presence of Ms Dunst. I didn't have any expectations for the film, probably a good thing, so sat down to watch it with an open mind.
A once famous Tennis player things have gone from bad to worse for Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) who has fallen down the rankings to 117. In fact things are so bad for Peter this Wimbledon tournament is going to be his last. On the other hand there is Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst), one of the hottest young tennis players to come from America in years. The Gulf between the two couldn't be any different but after Peter is accidentally sent into Lizzie's hotel room there is only one way you can see the film going.
The plot is all worked around the famous Wimbledon tournament and as the tournament progresses the relationship between Lizzie and Peter develops. Of course in typical film by numbers style her Dad wants her to concentrate on her game and finds Peter to be a distraction. At the same time there is the ex boyfriend, the men's No. 1 player and favourite for the tournament. In an amazing coincidence the closer Peter and Lizzie get the better his game becomes and hers rapidly starts to go down hill. The rest of the film is full of love story cliques that you'll see coming a mile away.
It's quite a simple idea for a story and despite an alternative type of setting it's been done so many times before. It is a typical love story and as such it didn't really hold my interest for the entire hour and a half. It's ideal for anyone who likes films like Love Actually and Bridgett Jones etc. For me though it was mildly enjoyable but I doubt it'll be a film I'll be rushing to watch again. There is a bit of comedy mixed into the love story but nothing that really separates it from a lot of similar romance films.
It's the first film I've heard of by director Richard Loncraine who directed an episode of Band Of Brothers as his most notable effort to date. He does exactly what is expected of him, making a regular love story look like a regular love story. I felt his real accomplishment was the tennis part of the film. I'm not a huge fan of the game, although have been watching more of it recently, but the Tennis scenes were excellent. He uses a number of different effects and camera angels to add a bit of suspense, rather than simply hitting the ball back and forward.
Despite the rather simplistic script, the 2003 Wimbledon tournament provides an excellent back drop to the movie. It adds a sense of realism to the movie and this makes it slightly more believable than it otherwise would have appeared. With a script writing team that boasts Bridgett Jones Edge Of Reason as one of its successes it certainly wasn't going to be a script that would appeal to me and as predicted before seeing it, it certainly didn't. The soundtrack was quite average and never really excelled to a point where it was even noticeable, but it played its part in the appropriate places, much like every other aspect of the film.
The cast was as you would expect from this type of movie. The alleged new British heartthrob Paul Bettany, opposite the hot American girl Dunst with the young American unknown heartthrob type lingering in the background. As with most love stories the world is full of beautiful people, half of which struggle to actually act. I wasn't convinced with Bettany and thought he struggled to be convincing as a pathetic tennis player at the start. My only encounter with him before was in a Knights Tale and again he didn't impress. He is allegedly a great British acting talent but personally I would have rated his performance as average. I really felt he struggled to confine a smug, cocky exterior whilst he was trying to play a man down on his luck.
Even Dunst didn't impress me as much as usual. Her character seemed to be a slight struggle to portray as she didn't seem to be quite nasty enough for the role. I felt parts where she was meant to be upset and angry she really didn't seem to be comfortable in her portrayal. The saving grace was the chemistry between the two and at times it did feel like the right casting choices had been made. The best performance of all came from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who played Colt's best friend and added a bit of humour to the film and actually helped to hold my interest slightly, whilst I wasn't focussed on Kirsten that is.
Overall it is a typical love Story meets sport. It combines all the cliques and predictable events you would expect from this type of film. My one complaint was the totally unrealistic ending, anyone whose seen it will know what I mean, like that's going to happen. For the rest of you I'm sure you'll understand when you've seen the film but I don't want to spoil it for you. It is a film I'd recommend seeing but only via rental as I'm sure it'll now be confined to collecting dust on a shelf for a long time to come. If you like Sport based films, or more importantly a lot of slushy romance then this is the film for you.
Wimbledon is a nice gentle comedy that is just like watching Andy Murray in a grand slam tennis tournament, it has a promising start and you are filled with hope however mid way through the tournament the standards begin to drop and suddenly you are left a little disappointed with the ending, the only real difference is that at least with watching Wimbledon the film rather than Wimbledon the tournament you at least get a few laughs along the way and do not have to suffer Cliff Richards singing.
The story is based upon the tournament and stars Kirsten Dunt (Lizzie Bradbury) as a top American player and Paul Bettany as Peter Colt a players whose best years are firmly behind him as he is in the twighlight of his careerhaving never cracked the top ten workld rankings, when he gets a wild card entry into Wimbledon he sees it as a fitting way to end his tennis career with one last big tournament.
Meeting Lizzie at the tournament there is an instant attraction between the two and suddenly he tarts to play above himself while she is watching him and the love affair and the tournament begin to take on a whole new meaning for Colt.
This is a nice gentle romantic comedy with a bit of tennis thrown into the mix, initially it works well as a film however it does begin to go off the boil part of the way through and sort of runs out of steam a bit in the middle, the problem is that the plot is just not strong enough to hold your interest.
Kirsten Dunst is competent enough as Lizzie but she hardly sets the screen alight, just looking sort of innocent and cute in a short tennis skirt to keep the male viewers happy and to be honest Bettany is pretty average in his role as well.
There are a few laughs to be had with this film and it is not the worst rmantic comedy I have ever seen but it lacks that certain sparkle to make it one that I would watch again.
Washed up tennis player Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) lives in the past, he was formerly ranked at number 11 in the world and was adored by adults and children alike. Now aged 31, he is ranked at number 119 in the world and no longer plays in the big tournaments that he used to. Feeling old and washed up he decides to retire after his next tournament and coach tennis at a country club.
When Peter is entered as a wildcard entry into Wimbledon he decides it's the perfect way to bow out of the sport that he's dedicated his life to, he hopes to win a couple of matches before his inevitable loss. When he first arrives at Wimbledon, he meets US hot shot Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst), the two are immediately taken with each other and to Peter's surprise, having Lizzie at his match gives him the determination to win. Will Peter continue you his winning streak and win the heart of Lizzie or will he lose both?
I'm not a huge fan of sports films, nor am I a huge tennis fan so the appeal for this film was relatively low for me however being a big fan of romantic comedies I thought I'd give it a go, hoping for an equivalent of Bend It Like Beckham all the while not expecting too much out of it.
Not being a fan of tennis myself I was sceptical about whether this film would be able create a nice balance between tennis and the subplots making it a watchable film for me. Luckily it does this well, it doesn't concentrate on the tennis too much as to alienate people who aren't fans and on the other hand it doesn't alienate it's core audience (tennis fans) by focusing on the romance too much. I actually found myself enjoying the tennis scenes, they were very well choreographed and everything looked as realistic as it possibly could. Of course there were unrealistic aspects which were thrown in with the simple objective of making the scene more tense and atmospheric and usually I cringe at sports movies when it gets to that pinnacle moment but Wimbledon didn't go overboard with it which I liked profusely. Another thing which I liked about the tennis scenes was that the underdog aspect of it all wasn't pushed in our faces too much, yes we know that Peter is the underdog but fortunately this isn't commented on so much throughout the film that it just becomes unbearably tacky and unrealistic. This means that it doesn't get overly predictable, sports films and romantic comedies are probably two of the most predictable dramas so I'm sure right at the beginning you could pretty much come to a safe conclusion about how things will work out but there are moments during matches and other aspects where things go awry and you find yourself trying to work out what's going to happen next.
I don't really know what to think of Paul Bettany's performance, I think he managed to capture that shy and self-doubtful look perfectly however I think this is mainly for the sympathy vote in order to make the females in the audience swoon over his boyish good looks and puppy dog eyes. He doesn't really have much charm about him and he reminded me in a way of Hugh Grant (which isn't a good thing) with his ever so posh accent and the way that he carries himself almost in a pompous way. For me, there wasn't enough depth to Peter, we learnt nothing about his life before the film starts besides from him losing a few matches. It would have been nice to learn a little more about how he got into tennis and his past relationships etc. The same can be said for Kirsten Dunst's character however I found her a little more intriguing, you don't get to learn a lot about her character either however you don't necessarily need to because you can form your own image of how she grew up from the relationship with her Father. This brought a welcome character development to the film, as it brings out another side to Lizzie. When we first know her situation you immediately conjure up a misconception of the spoilt American brat who's Daddy's little girl. Kirsten Dunst plays a likeable character with a lot more depth to her than the somewhat dense Paul Bettany. The two share good onscreen chemistry, they're not the most likely of couples but they act out their scenes together well and make for a believable pairing.
These aren't the only members of the all star cast; Iron Man director Jon Favreau plays the stereotypical American agent who although comes across as very Americanised, he's still a great character and adds a lot of humour to the film. Sam Neill was a great addition to the cast, playing Lizzie's strict and controlling Father, he brings an extra dimension to the film and makes Lizzie's character a lot more intriguing. Celia Imrie also has a small part as a country club member, she never fails to make me laugh with her straight face and dry wit.
For a comedy film I found the comedy to be few and far between, neither of the main characters were particularly funny in their portrayal, leaving it to the supporting characters to provide us with some much needed comedy. James McAvoy portrays Peter's sex obsessed younger brother who likes to make money off his siblings failures. He's a great character and one of the highlights in the film for me.
The film starts off promisingly but teeters off somewhere in the middle before regaining it's composure for a great finish. Unfortunately it took me a while to get into this film, after the promising beginning with Peter narrating about his life prior to where we meet him it goes downhill for a while and becomes a little dull however when the relationship heats up between him and Lizzie things start to pick up and I found myself unexpectedly enjoying this film. There's nothing that makes this film stand out as a brilliant sports film, neither is there anything that makes it stand out as a brilliant romantic comedy, it's simply a run of the mill film that is good for an afternoon of light, fluffy entertainment and I recommend it for that and that reason alone.
The DVD is available from play.com for £3.99.
The special features include:
Audio commentary from director Richard Loncraine and star Paul Bettany
'Welcome To The Club' featurette
'Ball Control' featurette
'Coach A Rising Star' featurette
'Wimbledon: A Look Inside' featurette
Wimbledon the tournament may be over for another year but if you are still yearning for the grass courts of SW19 then look no further than Wimbledon the movie.
Wimbledon the movie was released in 2004 and is a romantic comedy. It features a really unlikely pairing of Kirsten Dunst as Lizzie and Paul Bettany as Peter Colt. I have to say that I really didn't think there was any chemistry between these two at all and that for me made this movie a little bit unbelieveable. He is quite a bit older than her and in my opinion hardly a hearthrob and she is just like a little girl and not that cute either. I think for this reason this is why the film has never become a classic Brit romantic film like Four Weddings or Love Actually has.
The think I did like about this film was the tennis theme background and Wimbledon scenes. According to an article I read some of the filming actually took place during the Championships in 2003 between matches. It is the only time in the history of the tournament that this has been allowed.
The storyline is quite simple, Pete is a washed out English tennis player who gets into the tournament with a wildcard. After this tournament he has vowed to give up playing and turn to coaching. However, his lfie changes when he meets Lizzie, an up and coming American tennis prodigy. Their love affair is not simple as although his tennis gets better and better during the tournament her lack of focus causes trouble for her on the court. Will he go on to win Wimbledon or will it be game, set and match for their love affair?
Apparently the film was inspired by Goran Ivanisevic, a Croatian tennis player who won Wimbledon in 2001, becoming the only player to win men's singles Wimbledon with wildcard entry. I never knew this but thought it was quite an interesting fact.
This is probably a movie that once you ahve seen it you probably will not be rushing back to see it any time soon, it was good but not really a classic.
This is utterly predictable and well and truly cliché and yet it still a rather good watch as romantic comedies go.
You would think a big start like Kirsten Dunst would be at the forefront of this movie and yet the real star is the fantastic British actor Paul Bettany. He plays Peter Colt a rather faded and has been world tennis player.
His only support comes in the form of his fighting parents and his brother who normally bets against him. Luck would have it that he is going to Wimbledon on a wild card slot. Assured that he will be beaten in the first round he has resigned himself to quitting professional tennis after the tournament and become an instructor on a resort.
Sounds like a solid plan until our star meets Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst), a hot tennis prospect from America. As you can probably guess they meet in a comedy manner, they flirt, they play tennis and they fall in love. Just to keep things interesting, let's not forget in the mix is the love rival and the overbearing and protective father.
I won't tell you how it ends as you can probably guess (I did say it was cliché). I think what is worthy of a strong note is Paul Bettany. His performance was effortless just like it was in 'A Knights Tale'. He is a strong lead and charming and deserves more big breaks.
Must say that Dunst gives her usual performance, nothing special but not terrible either. I used to like her back in her 'Bring It On Days' but i'm over it now. I just don't really rate her particularly in this movie.
Finally, the tennis scenes are well done by director Richard Loncraine which makes the finale all the more enjoyable.
This really isn't an original film so don't expect to be surprised. Still it's enjoyable and makes you laugh. Job done.
Peter Colt: My parents are still together, which proves that love isn't just blind, it's bloody stupid.
Thank you for reading.
I am a big fan of chick flicks and I especially like British chick flicks so this film was always going to interest me. Wimbledon was released in the cinema back in 2004 and has been available on DVD for a few years now.
The name of the film is pretty self explanatory as to what the film is based around. In case you were completely hidden from any media last month Wimbledon is a tennis tournament that takes place in Wimbledon South London every year. Lots of top tennis players take part in the competition to try and win the title of Wimbledon champion. For us British people it is the chance to eat some strawberrys and drink a bit of champayne while watching some good tennis matches.
Wimbledon the film plays on the fact that we seem to have British players that never quite make it in Wimbledon. Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) was once ranked 11th in the world but now is only numer 119. Somehow though he managed to get a wild card to Wimbledon. Despite this he still has decided that after this tournament he will retire from professional tennis. A local country club has already asked him to be the tennis coach. Peter knows he just needs to get through his first match and then his career will be over.
What Peter doesn't realise is that someone is about to come in his life that will make a massive impact on him. When he arrives at the hotel he is staying in for the tournament he is given the wrong key and ends up walking in on Lizzie Bradburys (Kirsten Dunst) suite. Lizzie is young and very passionate about tennis, sometimes ending up in massive arguments with the umpires. Her Dad (Sam Neill) pushes her all the way and does not want anyone getting in the way of her success. Peter doesn't think after bumping into Lizzie that anything will change but he doesn't realise what an impact she will have on his life.
The story of Wimbledon is a good storyline based on the story we hear every year of another British player trying to get somewhere in the tournament. It mixes tennis and a bit of romance as well, which I think make for an interesting mix. It is almost like a mix between one of these underdog stories about a sports star or sports team mixed with a chick flick. I quite like this though as I like both these types of films and so it makes it enjoyable overall. I also think it makes it have a bit more appeal to males as well as females as there is a bit of sports action in there.
The film also has a comedy element to it. This is epitimised well by the character of Peters brother Carl (James McAvoy). Carl is so pessimistic about his brothers success that he goes down to the local betting shop and bets against his brother winning his first game. His own little romance is quite funny as well as he capitalises on his brothers success. He is a funny addition to the story and makes the story quite light hearted. Peters parents Edward (Bernard Hill) and Augusta (Eleanor Bron) also have their own funny moments and together the family are a bit odd.
The parts of the film where they show the tennis matches have been made in quite an interesting way. They have used special effects to slow down the speed of the ball to make it seem quite dramatic. They also use the sound well in these scenes to make the matches seem really intense. Another thing they did was to have Peters thoughts going round his head so you can hear what is going through his mind. It does make it feel like you know what he is going through. I am not a massive tennis fan but do enjoy watching Wimbledon. I know that there are bound to be some inaccuracies in terms of the game played and the actual tournament but I think for the purpose of the film the matches are intense and exciting to watch.
I generally like the Britishness of the film. I don't know what it is about these films such as Notting Hill and Love actually that makes me like them so much but they do have a cetain something about them.
Paul Bettany plays Peter Colt well. He looks how I imagine a tennis player would look so it is quite believable . He also manages to play the usual British not very successful, blundering character well. He has quite a good relationship with Kirsten Dunst, although I do not find it totally believable that the two characters would be interested in each other if it was real life. It is not real life though so I think they played the relationship between the two characters well. I liked the contrast between the two characters being British and American, although i think this could be classed as a little stereotypical and does make British men look a little pathetic.
I like Kirsten Dunst and she is in a lot of chick flicks that I have watched and I think she does a good job in this role. I don't think the character is particularly deep and we don't find out too much about her but Kirsten manages to play her agressive and more friendly sides well.
You can buy this DVD for around four pounds now from Amazon.
Overall Wimbledon is a good British chick flick. It is especially relevant since the tournament has just finished and makes an enjpoyable watch.
Also posted on Ciao.
Seems fitting this time of year to review one of my favourite "duvet day" films, Wimbledon. Released in 2004, Wimbledon, really surprised me as I'd never really liked Kirsten Dunst. However, I have a real soft spot for Paul Bettany (I pretend "The DaVinci Code" never happened) and I do enjoy a nice romantic comedy. Intellectually stimulating or powerfully life changing? No. Enjoyable couple of hours with a good balance between romance and comedy? Yes.
Directed by Richard Loncraine (not seen anything else on his imdb list), "Wimbledon" is the story of aging English tennis player Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) who has received a wild card to Wilmbledon and will then retire from professional tennis. Oldest son of a family of well-off quirky characters, Peter has always been fairly average and never really had the drive required to be great at anything, life or tennis. Almost entirely by fluke Peter makes it past the first round of "Wimbledon" and into the bed of rising American tennis star Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst). Fuelled by his infatuation with Lizzie, fear of her father (Sam Neill) and the craziness that is his family life, Peter Colt, might just be able to get over himself long enough to taste victory.
SO SHOULD I SEE IT
Ok men, you're not going to love it. You're not going to want to watch it over and over and over, but you might just be able to tolerate it more than many romantic comedies. Bettany's portrayal of Peter Colt is done with a dash of irony and more than a splash of self-efficacy. This is no American leading man sweeping the leading lady off her feet. There are some unfortunately soppy lines about needing rescuing and such, but Bettany tries to temper them as much as possible. He discusses the struggle with the script that he and Dunst had in the extras commentary and I must say they manage to look appropriately aghast at their soppy statements at times. The story develops at a good pace, has just enough tennis, just enough character development and just enough gags to balance out the love story.
Bettany is delightful in this film and the running commentary in his head is really quite amusing. An ensemble man for much of his career he really proved that he can lead a film. His timing works brilliantly and he played off of the fairly large cast particularly his fellow aging practise partner Dieter Prohl (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Dunst managed to redeem herself in this film after failing to impress me for much of her career. The chemistry really works despite the age difference between Bettany and Dunst and the fact that Dunst was filming another movie at the same time so they actually had little time to get used to each other.
Long before "Antonement" or "Wanted" James McAvoy was in fact funny. Shocking after sitting through those, I know. As Peter's sexually charged, self-involved younger brother, McAvoy steals pretty much every scene he is in. The bike shorts are not to be missed folks! Jon Favreau also lends his comedic talents as Lizzie and Paul's brass American sports agent. Vetran actors Sam Neill and Bernard Hill as the two fathers really seem to ground the film.
The film tries not to take itself too seriously and so neither should the viewer. If you're looking for world class tennis then I'd advise you to watch an actual tennis match! If you're looking for a bit of fun and a British romantic comedy (which is generally a step up from American ones no matter what!) then this is for you. Men, I warned you, you won't love it, but at 98min long it's a shorter option than some! Another benefit is that, being 5 years old, you can get it dirt cheap.
Oh and, as with most of his films, Bettany bares his ass... twice. That man does love his bottom!
I'm not a big viewer of extras but having watched this nearly a dozen time (hangs head in shame) I have in fact watched the extras as well. I enjoyed the dvd commentary with the director and Bettany which is quite self deprecating. There is also a piece on the tennis and you might be interested to know that no real tennis balls were used in the making of the film (well almost none). The actors were choreographed to dive around as if hitting tennis balls and the balls were all cgi-ed into the scenes later.
It seemed really appropriate to rewatch this film with Wimbledon upon us, this is a comedy romance starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst about the tennis tournament.
Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) is an English Tennis player, he is from a well to do family and has never really had to work or fight for anything, he was once ranked the 11th best tennis player in the world but has now slumped to 113th and accepts this without too much trouble.
He is one of the oldest remaining tennis players on the circuit and he spends most of his time chewing the fat and joking with his similarly over the hill German doubles partner, Dieter Prohl.
Peter decides that this will be his last Wimbledon and that he will retire and become a kids tennis coach afterwards.
Through a series of coincidences he keeps bumping into the star of the women's circuit, the bad girl, Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) and falls for her quite heavily, strangely she seems as smitten by him and he finds within himself that her belief in him actually rubs off and he starts to believe in himself, he finally gives a damn about winning to show her that he is more than an affable Brit with a fine line in derogatory jokes about himself.
Bradbury's determined Dad, Dennis (Sam Neil) is her manager and coach and tries to keep her away from Peter worried about the effect it will have on her tennis.
Will Peter get the girl, will he get past the first round of Wimbledon, these are the questions posed in this likeable comedy.
There is a very good cast, with John McEnroe and Chrissy Evert playing themselves as commentators, we have Robert Lindsay and Celia Imrie who are very good as the posh tennis club members who want Peter as their new coach.
Dunst is excellent if not underused as Bradbury, she is precocious and hard hitting and knows what she wants in complete contrast to Peter but she is a kid who has grown up only knowing tennis and this shines through at times when we see her more vulnerable side.
Bettany is good as Peter, very self depreciating and very funny, but some of the narrative going on in his head is at times cheesy.
Kirsten Dunst ... Lizzie Bradbury
Paul Bettany ... Peter Colt
Kyle Hyde ... Monte Carlo Opponent
Robert Lindsay ... Ian Frazier
Celia Imrie ... Lydice Kenwood
Penny Ryder ... Sylvia Littlejohn
Annabel Leventon ... Pauline Rossdale
Amanda Walker ... Country Club Tennis Lady
James McAvoy ... Carl Colt
Bernard Hill ... Edward Colt
Eleanor Bron ... Augusta Colt
Marina Morgan ... Dorchester Receptionist
Barry Jackson ... Danny Oldham
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Dieter Prohl
Sam Neill ... Dennis Bradbury
Beti Sekulovski ... Lizzie's 1st Opponent
Vikas Punna ... Ajay Bhatt
Abhin Galeya ... Vijay
John McGlynn ... Bookmaker
Jonathan Timmins ... Ball Boy
Martin O'Brien ... Reporter #1
John Warnaby ... Reporter #2
Tam Hoskyns ... Reporter #3
Austin Nichols ... Jake Hammond
Peter Cartwright ... Elderly Man in Lift
Eve Pearce ... Elderly Woman in Lift
Murphy Jensen ... Ivan Dragomir
Jeremy Child ... Fred Pilger
Cecilia Dazzi ... Billi Clementi
Ulla van Zeller ... Sophia Eri (as Ulla Dirscherl Van Zeller)
Jesse Loncraine ... Tennis Player
Kellie Shirley ... Betting Shop Girl
Jon Favreau ... Ron Roth
Gemma Catlin ... Betting Shop Girl's Friend
Alun Jones ... Tom Cavendish
Simon Greenall ... Chauffeur
Laura Morley ... Lizzie's 2nd Opponent
Danny Baker ... Radio London DJ
I really like this film, it is a cheesy British romantic comedy based around the quintessentially English tennis tournament. The tennis action is not overly realistic, while some of the shots look great, the slow motion plays look like their trying to recreate the Matrix on tennis courts.
I liked the interplay between the two main characters, the romance builds nicely through teasing and it seems natural and realistic, I don't think the chemistry is quite there but the ideal is lovely. Sam Neill is excellent as the bullying father and Jon Favreau is very funny as Peter's terminally underemployed agent who struggles to cope when work finally comes in.
The film builds the tension nicely, will Peter go from being nice guy to winner, will Lizzie see that there is more to life than tennis, the film tries to show that you need a bit of both to really succeed in life and it has a really positive message throughout.
The courts look great and it really captures how I imagine Wimbledon to be, the cast seem to be having great fun, the script is good enough and it's a nice film, its not the greatest romantic comedy ever, but it is one of those films that leave you smiling when its finished. Who knows with a Brit possibly winning Wimbledon this year it could take on a whole new level of relevance again!
The DVD is available for £2.99 on HMV and includes:
* Audio Commentary By Director Richard Loncraine And Actor Paul Bettany
* Welcome To The Club - Featurette
* Ball Control - Featurette
* Coach A Rising Star - Featurette
* Wimbledon: A Look Inside - Featurette
Let me start of by saying that Wimbledon in essence is a film about why Britain and particularly England is so bad at tennis. The fact that they have to make a film about a tennis player competing at Wimbledon shows how they desperate they were that Henman would win as this character bares quite a lot of resemblence to Henman in playing style and of course not as hateable as Murray.
So the title is Wimbledon and hence you know the film is only about one thing and that is the legendary grandslam Wimbledon. The main character is Peter Colt played by Paul Bettany and his love interest is played by Kirsten Dunst. Essentially this is a very simple movie about a guy competing at Wimbledon and trying to struggle through each round, yes more resemblence to Henman. He is inspired by a hot girl that he sees playing and this drives him further and further on in the tournament. Lizzie is the girl and she has a bit of a wild side, which actually helps him to relax more and not have the pressure of just solely focusing on Wimbledon.
Theres not really any point talking about the other characters, and the acting is pretty decent from the main two. I really dont know what else I can say about the plot, apart from that everything is not smooth for the couple and in typical romantic film fashion something gets in the way and it threatens to ruin their love story.
Now back to the tennis, as Paul Bettany is not a proffesional obviously the clips of him playing are really him on the most part as the standard is pretty pathetic. You compare the standard of tennis in the movie to Federer or Nadal and it is an absolute joke, so they could have used some special effects or clever camera angels to make this look a lot more slick. No character like this could ever win Wimbledon in real life and in fact Peter Colt doesnt even care that much about winning Wimbledon. In essence this is just a bit of a chick flick and wont interest tennis fans that much at all and overall this movie deserves three stars.
With Wimbledon only a few days away now, I thought I'd write a review on this brilliant film. I am always a bit sceptical about films being based around main sporting events, and I was even more sceptical about the bad actress Kirsten Dunst being in the film, sometimes she can really be truly terrible.
Peter Colt is a British tennis player who has fallen from one of the best in the world to 119th in the world. When he is given a wild card to play at Wimbledon, he is adamant that no matter what happens, this will be his last Wimbledon.
Along the way he meets Lizzie Bradbury, an American tennis player who charms him and they then embark on a brilliant love affair. Colt then realises that his relationship with Lizzie is helping him win. As he begins to beat the biggest and the best tennis players, he begins to shock everyone. Can he do the unthinkable and win Wimbledon?
The film is lovely, I think you really have to appreciate British Romantic Comedies to like this film and it might not be for everybody, but all my mates seem to like it, it is another no brainer romantic comedy, this time however it's all about tennis.
I think the casting of the film is what makes it so fantastic; I believe this was the film that made me swoon for Paul Bettany who is actually pretty cute in quite a few scenes, he delivers the best performance, but it's his chemistry with Kirsten Dunst that makes the film and they really do seem pretty cute together. Is she good in the film? Well, I wouldn't call it the best acting performance ever in a romantic comedy, but it's not as bad as she can be. I think a few more years of acting school and she'll maybe actually learn how to act.
Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst aren't the only two actors in the film, you have the brilliant almost unknown at the time James McAvoy delivering a fantastic performances as Paul Bettany's brother in the film. I think out of everyone in the film, he is now probably the biggest star. Sam Neill also is in the film and delivers great performances as well.
The way that they have put the tennis into the story is fantastic, they show on the special features how they did it, and they got the stars to 'pretend' to hit the ball and then put it in afterwards, I thought this was very clever. The actors were taught how to play 'proper' tennis by some of the most famous tennis players.
I really thought how they put the film together was so smooth and had everything that you'd want for a romantic comedy that it just seems to work. I think the way they have included the romance into the tennis is just brilliant, a really good film, which if you haven't watched, watch it because it is very good.
This is very cheap on sites like play.com and amazon, and it's well worth the money. The reason I even wrote the review was because Wimbledon is starting, and maybe this year, Andy Murray will do something miraculous and win the title.
Director: Richard Loncraine
Running Time: 98minutes
Price: £4.98 amazon.co.uk (Wait till it's on TV)
(C) Kirsty 2009