Young athletes have their lives in professional sports forever changed on Draft Day. Will they or will they not make the cut? To me, this arcane modern-day gladiatorial frenzy emphasized (AGAIN!) that this is a slave auction: The bartering, the wheeling and dealing, the false leads, the rumors and the ridiculous behavior of the fan(atic)s, compounded by the utter helplessness of the players being shuffled around.
Director Ivan Reitman ("No Strings Attached
") takes us inside the thought processes of a team manager whose decisions will dash many players' dreams, and rejuvenate others. This PG-13 script, written by first-timer Scott Rothman and Rajit Joseph (TV), makes it all too painfully clear that millions of dollars are spent promoting this mania. I realized later that they included many humorous bits because as I related the story to someone else, I laughed often.
- * Kevin Costner ("Man of Steel") today it isn't just the athletes who are perched on the edge; General Manager Sonny Weaver Jr. has the chance to save football for Cleveland...and his own behind!
- * Ellen Burstyn ("Big Love") is his widowed mom (she's on Twitter), who tells him he has just traded a cow for a handful of magic beans. She picks the worst time to spread her husband's ashes.
- * Chadwick Boseman ("42") is one of those helpless hopefuls. He has the most unusual cell phone I've ever seen....
- * Jennifer Garner ("Dallas Buyers Club") lives and breathes football; her input is highly valued by our hero.
- * Dennis Leary ("The Amazing Spiderman") is the team coach. He is furious during the negotiations and has posted notice he's leaving Cleveland.
- * Many players from the world of professional football appear as themselves, so this is Nirvana for fans of pro football.
This is billed as a sports movie for people who are not fans of professional sports. I enjoyed the aerial views of the cities who have NFL teams, starting with an absolutely gorgeous one of Seattle, displaying the Space Needle and the Stadium District, with icy blue Puget Sound nestled alongside them.
BTW, I still don't understand The Draft in pro sports.... but it looks a lot like poker to me!