It's a darned shame that virtually no romantic comedies are targeted at senior citizens, and it would be doubly shameful if Play the Game were the last and only time audiences got to see national treasure Andy Griffith get his flirt on.
And he's pretty cute, too.
It's far from perfect: The
start is slow and weirdly generic, and for most of the film, the piece's
younger couple (Paul Campbell and Marla Sokoloff) aren't nearly as interesting
But things solidify joyfully
every time Joe's on screen, which, thankfully, is a lot. We meet him as a
despairing widower neglected by his selfish 20-something grandson David (
But the two start to connect when David takes Joe, along with his long-suffering married friend Rob (Geoffrey Owens), to be his wingman at a club while he trolls for bimbos. This provides one of the film's best scenes, when Joe, misunderstanding Rob and David's horror at him spooning Metamucil into a cup of hot water at the club, helpfully dumps a scoop into each of their cocktails.
Realizing that his grandfather needs some help on his moves, David begins coaching him in the game of love, with rules that men will recognize fondly and women will roll their eyes at. At the same time, David begins wooing perky non-bimbo Julie (The Practice's Sokoloff), but as his game starts to flounder, Joe's picks up, and the elder student becomes the teacher.
And it's that step-up in Joe's
game that leads to a very funny and surprisingly suggestive sex scene between
Joe and Edna (Seinfeld's
Julie and David's romance is a little more paint-by-numbers.
There are thousands of romantic comedies about callow young people, but very few ... OK, none, about seniors.
One almost wishes Fienberg had
dropped the kids and focused just on
R E V I E W
Play the Game
Rated PG-13: Sexual content and language
Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
The verdict: The seniors steal the movie, which would have been even more entertaining without the young folks.
Now showing: Area theaters