dir. Loncraine
Opens Fri Sept 17
Various Theaters

The producers of Wimbledon probably thought they were making a smart move by positioning their movie to open the weekend after the U.S. Open. Tennis fans, still high from watching the best players in the world, would flock to see a romantic comedy involving their favorite sport, right? Hooooo boy, did they screw up this time!

Of course, one might say their problems started long ago, after deciding to cast the always dubious Kirsten Dunst. This time Kirsten plays Lizzie Bradbury, a top-seeded women's pro--who like a lot of top professionals loves to drink booze and have anonymous sex before a big match. Lizzie also has a domineering dad (played by poor Sam Neill, looking like he's been shot up with horse tranquilizers to dull the shame of appearing in this movie), who is constantly fighting to keep the whoring Lizzie focused on her game.

Enter charming English dork Paul Bettany--last seen in Master and Commander--as former tennis hotshot Peter Colt. Deprived of drive and ambition, and hovering around 119 in the rankings, the aging Peter decides that Wimbledon will be his final tournament--that is until his game gets a much needed boost of adrenaline after boning the vivacious Lizzie. Apparently, a lot of practice is no substitute for Lizzie's magic vagina, as Peter suddenly finds himself defeating every competitor in his path! Omigod. Will Peter win Wimbledon? Well, that depends! How much vagina is Lizzie willing to give up?

Though this script is a veritable train wreck of clichés, it has two things going for it: One, people like your mother LOVE watching cliché train wrecks. And two, it stars Paul Bettany who is undeniably charming in the Hugh Grant vein. However, it also has at least two things going against it: One, neither Bettany nor the abysmal Dunst look like they've played a lick of tennis in their lives. And two... I'm sorry... I just can't believe Kirsten Dunst's vagina is all that great.