George Clooney is a well-known, award-winning actor and a timeless heartthrob, but as a director, at least in one particular case, he falls short of his excellent credentials. Leatherheads, despite being a good portrayal of an era, is a yawn.
Following the rise of professional football in the 1920s, Leatherheads stars The Office’s John Krasinski and the director himself, George Clooney.
Krasinski plays a football star/ war hero who joins Clooney’s professional team, turning it into something it could’ve never been otherwise and actually drawing crowds to the league that was considered a joke prior.
Renee Zellweger also graces the film with some sharp-wit and feminism for the era as a journalist trying to discredit Krasinski’s war history. Zellweger offers a refreshing portrayal of a woman at the beginning as the only woman in her news room at the Chicago Tribune. Her role as feminist hero is quickly broken as she begins a love triangle between Clooney and Krasinski.
One thing I can say for Zellweger is that she fits very well into this era. She looked like she came straight out of the ‘20s as she did in Chicago.
The best thing about Leatherheads is that it is a good period piece. It shows a good example of the ‘20s era with the wardrobe and dialogue choice. One thing that people can’t say about Leatherheads is that it’s inaccurate.
Despite its accuracy, Leatherheads leaves audiences bored. The story is highly predictable. It would have been nice to see Clooney take some more risks, like using scene transitions other than black and white photos, and make the film a little more exciting and surprising.
From seeing the previews, one would expect the film to be a little more humorous but the jokes are a bit dry resulting in no more than a light chuckle and sometimes nothing at all.
I would call the movie a watch-checker and give it a rating of six out of ten. The only thing that saves it from dipping below a five is the romanticism of the 1920s itself.