“Leatherheads” stars George Clooney, Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski. It’s directed by George Clooney, this being the third time he has directed himself in a movie. The script was written by Ducan Brantley and Rick Reilly.
The film is set in the 1920’s football era. Where there weren’t helmets, there were leatherheads. Dodge Connelly (George Clooney) is the captain of the football team and plans to lead his dysfunctional team to the pros. Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger) is a journalist looking for the story of her career. That story being the talk of the town known as Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), who forced many German soldiers to surrender in WWI all on his own.
The problem with “Leatherheads” is that it tries to brew together multiple genres and fails miserably. Renee Zellweger as the perky, sour faced journalist (usually found wearing scarlett red) doesn’t really show any talent. The chemistry between her and George Clooney feels dispute. The filmmakers did a good job at catching the essence of the 1920’s, nailing the clothing styles, music and the transportation established during this time. But the film itself feels dated. This is definitely something that might appeal to older folks, particularly within the age range of 70 and up.
George Clooney, who usually plays very mundane characters, tries to liven his act up a bit. The problem is he isn’t funny. The script is frail and doesn’t have any true moments or surprises. Very few of the scenes involve football, so the trailer was kind of a mislead. Sadly, these rarely shown football scenes rely on close-ups of Clooney’s goofy expressions to make us laugh. The entire thing was rather boring and was too long for a comedy. The dialog is missing snap and wit, something repeatedly shown in the trailers. Another mislead.
The direction wasn’t bad, but it never reaches any level of success. A short summary would be the film is lacking. The comedy failed completely without a moment of chuckles. For those who are looking for something with some comedic payoffs and a more football related comedy, skip this one. Overall, the film that doesn’t really know what direction to run in, fumbling between a screwball comedy and a romantic love triangle. Having said that, you might want to thing twice about seeing this one.