“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
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