Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Proving that he is still relevant, Kevin Costner, in his third film this year, gives us yet another iconic sports flick to join the pantheon of films he has already created in this genre (Tin Cup, For Love of the Game, Field of Dreams, and Bull Durham) by giving us yet one more iconic sports, flick, this time going from golf and Baseball to football. This time out, he is playing the fictional Sonny Weaver who is the general manager of the very real Cleveland Browns on the day of the NFL Draft. As the day starts out, Sonny has received news from his (secret) girlfriend, Ali (Garner), who is also the team’s financial officer whose unenviable job it is to figure the team’s salary cap, and make sure that Sonny and his coaches don’t go over it when drafting players.
Well right after that bit of news (to which the very distracted Sonny simply doesn’t react well to — hey don’t judge the guy too harshly, he is already not only older than Ali, but divorced, managing a losing team, and is less than 12 hours away form the biggest, most stressful day of his year — he gets a call from another coach that wants to offer him the #1 draft pick of the most desirable player in the pool, for which he is demanding an exhorbitant deal. Sonny now has to determine if he wants to make this deal — which very well could be the deal that could very well save football in Cleveland instead of picking the player that Sonny originally wants but hasn’t told anyone.
Well, the clock is ticking and Sonny must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL. He also must deal with a contentious coach that hasn’t as of yet impressed Sonny as well as an overbearing owner that is all kinds of excited about the possibility of landing the #1 draft pick of the season. This is really an exciting film (honestly, some of the excitement was personally lost on us as we are simply more a baseball fan that a football fan, but be assured, if you are the kind of person who gets worked up over Draft Day, then you will truly appreciate the back-room, Machiavellian machinations that go on during the course of this film.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, hismovie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.