Kirsten Dunst (“Spiderman 2”) and Paul Bettany (“A Beautiful Mind”) star in “Wimbledon,” a sports and romantic comedy hybrid brought to you by the director of “Band of Brothers”. Brittany plays Peter Colt, a 32-year-old British tennis player who was once ranked 11 in the world but is now only ranked 119. He scores a wild-card spot to play in Wimbledon, the annual tennis tournament that is hosted in England. Since Peter has never won a major title before and is planning to retire soon, it readily becomes apparent that this is Peter’s last chance to impact the world of tennis.

At the start of Wimbledon, Peter meets audacious Lizzie Bradbury (Dunst), the top-ranked female tennis player from the U.S. who is favored to win the tournament. Amidst his own efforts to win back the support of his home country and his dysfunctional family, Peter unsurprisingly begins a romance with Lizzie. Of course, the unusual romance is not condoned by the press, Lizzie’s overbearing father or her agent. Everyone expects Peter to stand in the way of Lizzie’s life goal: placing first in Wimbledon.

“Wimbledon” is only disappointing in that it is completely predictable. The characters, conflicts and even “twists” in the plot are entirely expected. The only unforeseen aspect of “Wimbledon” is its heavy focus on Peter Colt’s career, which I actually found disappointing. I was hoping to see a little more of the relationship between Peter and Lizzie, even if it was incredibly anticipated.

Despite its predictability, “Wimbledon” is a heart-warming story that is sure to strike a chord among those who enjoy the mushiness of sports glory stories with romantic backdrops, especially tennis enthusiasts.

One strong aspect of the movie is the special effects used during the tennis scenes. The action is slowed down during shots and therefore made visible to the audience.

The actors are also powerful in the film, with each giving excellent performances. Bettany adds realism in his portrayal of a washed out athlete. His frustration transcends the screen, yet he forever remains the cordial, charming Englishman.

To provide contrast, Dunst is both sassy and forthright as a rising American athlete, complimenting the super serious Bettany. The chemistry between the two is clearly felt, adding believability to the story.

However, the courtship between the characters weakens the film, as it is superficial. One minute, they are first meeting; the next, they are professing undying love. Nevertheless, once their relationship is cemented, it is not only engaging but also touching.

The happy ending only adds to “Wimbledon’s” predictability, but it still leaves the audience with that warm fuzzy feeling expected of romantic comedies. The believability of the couple makes it hard not to wish them well.

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