Movie #287 2020: Wimbledon (2004)

After Match Point, it came as a massive shock to me that not all tennis movies are dark and sinister. So, watching Wimbledon made me extremely disorientated for a while, until I realised it’s most definitely a rom-com and not a Woody Allen thriller.

Wimbledon stars Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany in the lead roles. Bettany plays Peter Colt; an aging tennis pro who is making this grand slam his last one. Dunst stars as the Sharapova-esque Lizzie, who is very much in her prime. One thing leads to another, and the pair of them meet in an embarrassing yet ultimately sweet situation. The film tells the tale of how the pair grow to love one another, with Wimbledon being the backdrop to the entire thing. The sport itself ends up creating dramas of its own too, as Peter unexpectedly gets much further in the competition than expected.

Predictable as they come, but you know what? It’s a well made rom-com for what it is. Plus there seems to be some sort of winning formula consisting of British Guy + American Girl that just seems to work somehow in this type of movie. (See: Notting Hill.) Is it as memorable as some of the classics in the genre? Absolutely not. But it’s inoffensive at its core.

Just to confirm, Kirsten Dunst is still the most annoying person in the world and she will never again hit the heights of Bring It On or Interview With A Vampire. However, it was fun to see Vision and Happy hanging out being a pair of dorks together! Oh, the secondary cast is packed full of famous (and brilliant) faces too, who certainly do not disappoint.

Back to what I said before, there’s genuinely nothing in this script that you won’t see coming. Literally nothing at all. Whilst the three credited writers keep it well-paced and fast-moving enough to keep you entertained, one of them is Adam Brooks, a.k.a. the guy who wrote Practical Magic, so I couldn’t help but feel mildly disappointed with this effort.

I won’t lie to you by pretending there’s much emphasis on the comedy, but it got at least a couple of giggles out of me. Anyway, the emphasis here is almost completely on the romance, and the main protagonists just happen to be tennis players whilst Wimbledon itself acts as the catalyst for how they meet. There’s a chunk of sport in the final match of the movie, but I won’t spoil that here… although I’m sure you can guess how that goes. 

Wimbledon brings nothing overwhelmingly outstanding or gasp-worthy on the whole, but it’s an easy watch and one of those meet cute movies that so many seem to love. If rom-coms are your cup of tea, this will hit the spot.

Wimbledon is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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