- Movie Rating -

Players (1979)

| June 8, 1979

There may be nothing on Earth that can kill sports romance movie like a movie in which you don’t care about the sport and you don’t care about the romance.  After that, what’s left but the credits and the popcorn?  Players is yet another post-Rocky sports movie and after sitting through movies about boxing, bowling, hockey, ice skating, basketball and professional wrestling, I guess it was kind of inevitable that we would eventually get to tennis.

I am not a tennis fan, and watching Players I hoped that was to my advantage.  Maybe, I hoped, the movie would give me some insight into what is the driving passion for this sport.  Possibly I could learn what makes a great player.  But no, this is a routine sports movie in which we see the sport played in scene after endless scene without any real passion.

Dean-Paul Martin, son of Dean Martin, plays Chris, a professional tennis hustler who is very good on the court but can’t seem to find a connection in life.  That is especially problematic when he meets and falls in love with Nicole, the mistress of a European millionaire.  They don’t get along very well, fighting endlessly over money.

I think I’ve already made it clear.  I didn’t care about this movie, not the romance, not the stuff on the tennis court.  I found both Chris and Nicole to be self-centered, obnoxious bores who are more interested in their things than in each other.

The movie has a weird set of values.  It was the pet project of Robert Evans who seems to have padded the film with things he knows: expensive cars, designer shoes, fancy clothes.  It makes the characters very shallow and selfish and the movie a struggle to sit through.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized