“Play The Game”
 
It’s hard not to like Andy Griffith.  He’s sweet and charming as “Grandpa Joe” in “Play The Game.”  His grandson, David (Paul Mitchell), is a car salesman working for his slimy Dad, whom neither of them really like very much, and see as little as possible.  So the main relationship skips a generation.  It’s bucolic to see them fishing together, shoes and socks off and pants legs rolled up, just seeming to enjoy the afternoon, and being together.  Pretty soon they get around to talking about what really matters to both of them:  their relationships with women.
It seems that Grandpa Joe is still mourning the death of his beloved wife, over two years ago now.  David encourages him to get back out there and date somebody, and even gives him some “how to” lessons (reconnaissance, identify target, arrange to meet accidentally, etc.)  Grandpa Joe listens patiently to all this, and decides to give it a try, because David, a veteran of the single dating scene, seems to know what he’s talking about.  But David is not as smart as he thinks.  When he finally meets the right one, Julie (Marla Sokoloff), his “method” seems to fail.  Grandpa, meanwhile, is having a grand ol’ time, especially since he discovered Viagra.  Be prepared for some awkward/funny treatment of the sexual behavior of seniors.  In fact, the whole movie can be characterized as “awkward/funny.”
Yes, the characters are awkward with one another, some of which is called for by the script, and some of which just feels kind of amateurish, despite the veteran actors involved.  You think it’s going to end several times, only to reveal yet another “post script” scene, which in some ways ties things up neatly and in other ways leaves the viewer feeling a bit deceived.  Yes, much of “play the game” feels contrived, but still, it has its humorous moments, and who wouldn’t enjoy seeing an eighty-something Andy Griffith just playing folksy again?
 
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas