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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Game Plan'
(Dwayne Johnson, Madison Pettis, et al / DVD / PG / (2007) 2008 / Disney)

Overview: The winning family comedy 'The Game Plan' has a whole lot going for it, including star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who's a natural comedic actor (and the camera loves him), and the young actress (Madison Pettis) who plays the daughter he didn't know he had, Peyton.

DVD Verdict: There’s nothing surprising about “The Game Plan,” in which a quarterback named Joe Kingman, played by Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, learns to love the young daughter, Peyton (Madison Pettis), he never knew he had. But the movie is so likable that it glides over its many plot holes (including the fishy explanation of why Joe never knew about Peyton, and an 11th-hour revelation by the girl that’s even less persuasive). The film’s direction, by Andy Fickman, is raucous but never crass, and the affable Mr. Johnson is committed to every moment.

The screenplay, by Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price, establishes Joe as a man-boy who talks about himself in the third person and has a separate room for his trophies. Peyton puts a tutu on his bulldog, switches his television to a horse program during the final seconds of an N.B.A. game and insists on being enrolled in a ballet class.

The class yields a hint of romance for Joe (with Peyton’s elegant, tough teacher, played by Roselyn Sanchez). And it lets Mr. Fickman stage some lively sequences, including an endearing montage that cuts between ballet and football practice, and a dance recital in which Joe, who’s been pressed into service as a tree, plays his role with such sincerity that he brings his burly teammates in the audience to tears.

But, as the championship grows nearer, Joe is about to realize that the game that truly matters has nothing to do with money, endorsements or even touchdowns—it’s all about the really tough stuff: patience, teamwork, selflessness…and winning the heart of the one little fan who turns out to count the most. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Drafting 'The Game Plan'
The King in Search of a Ring
ESPN's SportsCenter: The Rock Learns to Play QB
Bloopers With Marv Albert
Deleted Scenes
Peyton's Makeover Madness