Tennis, Anyone? Nice little review ...

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Tennis, Anyone? Nice little review ...

Post by Gillian » Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:02 am

'Tennis, Anyone?' hits a soft, satiric serve

By David Elliott

November 10, 2005

Donal Logue, who made a 2000 splash with "The Tao of Steve," is big, burly and hip in an unforced way, like Michael Moore without the barbs of provocation.

In "Tennis, Anyone?" Logue is Danny Macklin, an L.A. actor in a mildly successful TV sitcom, getting dumped from marriage by a wretchedly selfish New Zealand blonde.

Soon as other beef arrives, she's away, while dazed Danny doesn't understand his failure, thinks his show may be amiable junk, yearns to be in movies. He slumps back into friendship with a past acquaintance, Gary (Kirk Fox), who is from San Diego, thinks he can will himself into acting and improvise scripts by mood.

Logue and Fox wrote (Logue directed), and the plot spicer is not the sex (minor) or the lonely-guy funk (savvy sitcom) but Gary getting Danny excited again about tennis. Despite his absurd thespian dream – Fox is awfully good at performing a clueless actor – Gary is a fine racket man and excellent coach who presses Danny back into the game, then into celebrity pro-am charity matches that could boost their careers.

Their main opponent becomes popular comedy star Johnnie Green (Jason Isaacs), who must be the lost brother of sharky hood Moe Green in "The Godfather." Oozing fatuous charm and signature schtick, Johnnie is one of the most offensive showbiz reptiles ever, so ripe in vanity and venom that he has a sort of grotesque charisma, in Isaacs' wonderfully unsettling performance (both his serves and zingers seek to kill).

Though the title is a famed Broadway line legendarily first spoken by young blade Humphrey Bogart in the 1920s, "Tennis, Anyone?" has modern ancestry. Danny and Gary are clearly cousins of Miles and Jack in last year's surprise hit "Sideways," a pair of lovable mess-ups prone to delusion, with tennis replacing wine and chick-chasing rather more marginal.

Logue knows how to make scenes sting, though he favors very tight close-ups and surrenders much of the movie to loopy Fox and the eagerly repellent Isaacs. Danny's stand-up comedy disaster, a spoof of Osama bin Laden before a mostly Jewish crowd, comes out of nowhere, as nothing, and Danny really never does seem like a star – Gary and Johnnie steal the movie in big chunks.

The movie isn't deeply about anything, even including tennis, though it has a smartly rancid skill in spearing phonies. When a hunk country star (Stephen Dorff) wraps himself in patriotism while preening for women, something truly, vacuously American is shafted.

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Post by Marie » Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:33 pm

Gary and Johnnie steal the movie in big chunks.
Very true - very true!!!!! Loved watching Jason in this - he looked like he had fun with the part!


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Post by DhaniGrrrrl » Wed May 14, 2008 8:20 pm

I finally got to watch this today (and taped it too, cos I had to leave while it was still on), and I can certainly say that Jason was rather...Interesting, and I kinda liked the potty mouth he was sporting, as well as that tennis racquet and shorts!!!

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Post by Angel Tavington » Wed May 14, 2008 9:46 pm

Aw, I've never seen "Tennis, Anyone?". And I can't find the DVD anywhere.


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Post by kjshd05 » Wed May 14, 2008 9:51 pm

Angel, I see it sometimes on Ebay....
Being Region 4 is tough...

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Post by marilaine » Thu May 15, 2008 10:38 am

I saw it on like Showtime or HBO while back.....Jason's character,"Johnny Green" is kind of a rude jerk.....but boy is he hot in those shorts (nothing as much as DJ/Event Horizon.....but that's a whole other story. :twisted: )
Ooops! We're supposed to be on our best behavior, aren't we? :angel
~marilaine :twisted: :cool:

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Post by Gillian » Sat May 17, 2008 9:55 am

In a DJ vs Johnny Green shorts competition, DJ wins hands down, IMO.
BTW, Jason's role in Tennis, Anyone? is probably the only time I've had complete and utter contempt for one of his characters. Strangely enough, Donal Logue came in a very close second.

I think it might have had something to do with the Kleenex scene.

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