Wimbledon: A Look Inside featurette
Welcome to the Club featurette
Ball Control special effects featurette
Coach a Rising Star
“Pro tennis “hot shot” Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) is a rising star who lives to win. But when she falls for long-shot contender Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) amid the glitz and glamour of Wimbledon, Lizzie discovers it’s not if you win or lose, but how you play the game of love.
A deliciously witty romantic comedy about chasing your dreams and risking your heart, Wimbledon is a fun and charming story of love across the net.”
Wimbledon is rated PG-13 for language, sexuality and partial nudity.
Wimbledon is very predictable. Just by looking at the DVD cover you can guess how the movie will end. It’s easy to figure out if Dunst and Bettany’s characters will find romance. It’s easy to figure out whether or not Peter Colt wins Wimbledon. They very much took the safe route with this film, but that’s forgivable. Every once in a while it’s nice to have a film that’s exactly what it appears to be and has a happy Hollywood ending. Fortunately the creators make getting to that predestined ending an entertaining trip.
Wimbledon does have a few things going for it that make it unique. First of all, there’s the Wimbledon setting for the story. I’m not a real big tennis fan, so this was an interesting new world for me to explore in the film. It also allowed for cameos by a number of tennis stars like Chris Evert Lloyd and John McEnroe. You don’t have to know the rules of the game to follow what’s happening, but it does make you appreciate some of the jokes more. The movie also uses a lot of subtle special effects that you might otherwise miss while watching it. For example, a lot of the tennis balls are CG. There are a lot of shots during the game that are elaborately set up. At another point Peter Colt’s iris moves along with the voices in his head. All these little touches give it a feel that makes it a little more dynamic and entertaining than it might have otherwise been.
Another unique touch is the internal dialogue by Paul Bettany as Peter Colt. Throughout the film you hear his inner voice expressing his thoughts, fears, and reactions to what is happening on screen. Anybody that has ever played a sport knows this voice that tells them not to screw up when making a play. This inner voice is almost another character in the film. Between this and Bettany’s great sense of humor, he ends up being a fun character and well worth following as he makes his Wimbledon comeback.
Kirsten Dunst is good as Lizzie Bradbury. She’s fiercely competitive and you believe she could be a real tennis player. She’s also flirtatious with Peter Colt so you understand why he would be drawn to her. She becomes a little less attractive towards the end of the movie, but it quickly passes. James McAvoy is hilarious as Carl Colt, Peter’s brother. He’s terribly opportunistic and scenes where he keeps making bets that his brother will lose are hilarious. Bernard Hill is also fun as Peter’s father Edward Colt and so is Eleanor Bron as his mother Augusta Colt. Sam Neill rounds out the main cast as Dennis Bradbury, Lizzie’s competitive father. Neill does a masterful job of making him both intimidating and lovable. It would have been easy to make the character a tyrant, but Neill avoids that.
If you’re looking for a light, predictable romantic comedy then I think Wimbledon will fit the bill.
Feature Commentary with Paul Bettany and Director Richard Loncraine This commentary is actually one of the funnier ones I’ve heard in quite a while. The sly sense of humor of Bettany and Loncraine make it quite entertaining as they joke about their fellow actors, their inexperience with tennis, and other such things. If you enjoyed the movie then this is well worth listening to.
Wimbledon: A Look Inside featurette This is your typical “making of” featurette. It has behind the scenes footage, interviews with cast and crew, and more. There are also extensive interviews with Lloyd and McEnroe.
Welcome to the Club featurette This short featurette gets into detail about how they filmed at the real Wimbledon. They talk about getting permission, the logistics of shooting on the fields, and more.
Ball Control special effects featurette Since the main actors didn’t do all the ball work in the games, the special effects guys had to come in and lend some help. They talk about the tricks they used which, it turns out, were quite elaborate.
Coach a Rising Star This talks about how they got the main actors to look like real tennis stars for the film.
The Bottom Line: