In Ivan Reitman’s latest pic, “Draft Day” Kevin Costner, Sonny Weaver Jr. is the GM for the Cleveland Browns. His father, Sonny Weaver, who had been owner and coach before him has died the week before the NFL Draft therefore, it is up to Sonny to make the deals that will lift the team into greatness. On this same day, Sonny learns he is to become a father, from his girlfriend, Ali, Jennifer Garner and he is offered the number one pick.
If you are hoping to find a film that depicts the inner machinations of what Draft Day is like this is not the film to see. There are no great insights into how deals are made. What we get is a film rife with clichés. How is it that the one pick he wants to go for, has a sob story behind it? Or, how about the fact that Sonny was forced to fire his father by his dominating mother, Barb Weaver, Ellen Burstyn, due to his father’s failing health?
Even if you make concessions for the myriad of clichés in the film, there are also things which happen that don’t make sense. If Sonny’s family is so committed to football, then why would his mother insist on scattering his fathers’ ashes on “Draft Day” a day in which everyone is busy, preparing for the upcoming year? Wouldn’t his father have seen that as a lack of respect towards the game itself? If this is so, then wouldn't the characters they are portraying feel the same?
However, the characters in this film are extremely under-developed. There is no sense as to who these people are as human beings, nor do we feel invested enough to care. What makes this even worse is the fact that the best lines of the film have been seen hundreds of times in the trailers. The problem with this is that once you get into movie theater, what was funny or interesting previously is boring now.
“Draft Day” as it is, leaves one wanting more. Where is the passion for the game? Who are these people? They could have been anyone. “Draft Day” is so banal in its portrayal of the day, that in truth it could have been any day in the year.