The Game Plan is a 2007 American family sports comedy film directed by Andy Fickman and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This movie was the last film in which Johnson uses his ring name "The Rock," and the last film to be distributed by Buena Vista Pictures, due to Disney retiring the name in late 2007.
In the last game of the American Football Federation between the Boston Rebels and the New York Dukes, Rebels quarterback Joe Kingman (Dwayne Johnson) scores a touchdown after ignoring an open wide receiver, Travis Sanders (Morris Chestnut). The next morning, an 8-year-old girl named Peyton Kelly (Madison Pettis) arrives on Kingman's doorstep saying that she is his biological daughter, and that his divorced wife sent her there to meet him. Kingman's agent, Stella Peck (Kyra Sedgwick), thinks this will be bad for his image and distracts him with the upcoming playoffs.
At the opening of his own restaurant, Kingman leaves without Peyton, and is on the cover of a tabloid the next day. Peck decides Kingman needs a new fatherly image. At a later press conference, the reporters make Kingman miserable, until Peyton comes to his defense, saying that he is new to this and trying the best he can, and that she thinks he is the best father in the world. Peyton then says that Kingman has to repay her, so she has him take her to a ballet academy run by Monique Vasquez (Roselyn Sanchez). Vasquez has Kingman join their ballet performance to show him that ballet takes just as much athletic ability as football. Kingman and Peyton begin their relationship after Peyton calls his arrogant and selfish behavior to his attention. Kingman takes Peyton and her new friends to the mall where he begins to develop romantic feelings for Vasquez.
The Rebels march through the playoffs via three road games: Denver in the Wild Card round, Indianapolis in the Divisional round and finally Baltimore in the Conference round. They eventually make it to the championship game held in Arizona in a rematch with the New York Dukes. Peck offers Kingman a $25 million endorsement deal with Fanny's Burgers, a successful fast food restaurant run by Samuel Blake, Jr. (Robert Torti), if he wins the game and mentions the product to the press. While at lunch with Kingman and Vasquez, Peyton accidentally reveals that her mother does not know that she is with him; apparently Peyton was supposed to go to a ballet school program for the month, but instead she ran away to be with Kingman. Peyton then has an allergic reaction to the nuts in the dessert she was eating, and Kingman rushes her to the hospital; however, the doctors tell him that the reaction is mild, and his daughter is going to be fine. Kingman's former sister-in-law and Peyton's legal guardian, Karen Kelly (Paige Turco), arrives. She announces her intent to take Peyton home and he tries to convince Karen that he wants his daughter to stay. Kingman discovers that Sara (Kathryn Fiore), his ex-wife and Peyton's mother, has been dead for six months having been killed in a car accident. After overhearing Peck explaining that Peyton would be a distraction to Kingman, Karen and Peyton return home. Later, while going through Peyton's bag under her bed, Kingman finds some photos and tearfully reads a letter from Sara, saying that she hid Peyton away from Kingman, not wanting Peyton to be a distraction to him. As the championship game begins, Kingman's mind is not fully set on the game and he is soon injured.
Kingman is surprised to discover that Peyton has arrived with Karen. Understanding Kingman's earlier words about how he wants to remain in Peyton's life, Karen decides to let Peyton live with Kingman. Near the end of the fourth quarter, Kingman passes the ball to the running back, Webber (Brian J. White), who gains positive yardage but fails to get out of bounds. Kingman hurries his team to the line with the clock running, and rushes ahead before being knocked out of bounds. With time for one last play, Kingman throws a lob pass to Sanders, who catches the pass, allowing the Rebels to win their first championship. In a post-game interview, Kingman declines the Fanny's Burgers offer, insisting that he will be with Peyton. The film ends with Kingman, Peyton, and Vasquez dancing together in Kingman's apartment to the song "Burning Love".
portray themselves, offering commentary in every game. Steve Levy also portrays himself as part of one game's postgame coverage for SportsCenter. Stuart Scott makes a cameo as himself on SportsCenter giving a report on Joe Kingman.
The Game Plan was filmed in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The movie was also filmed in three stadiums across the country: Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mile High Stadium in Denver, and Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona.
Johnson's character taking ballet lessons in the movie was an indirect nod to Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann, who took ballet lessons during his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Swann later worked as a reporter for Disney-owned ABC & ESPN. Swann left Disney for a career in politics while The Game Plan was in pre-production.
The film received negative reviews by critics and holds a 28% 'Rotten' rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Produced at an estimated cost of US$22 million, the film grossed $90,648,202 in the U.S market and $55,942,785 in foreign ticket sales and $50,643,312 brought from DVD sales, in its stay on the Top 50 chart, sales producing a grand total gross of $197,234,299, clearly makes this film a profitable venture for Disney. It opened at #1 at the box office grossing $22,950,971 in its first weekend in 3,103 theaters and averaging $7,396 per venue. It closed on February 18, 2008 with a final domestic gross of $90,648,202.
The Game Plan was released on Disney DVD and Disney Blu-ray on January 22, 2008. Through April 27, 2008, DVD rentals for The Game Plan were able to stay in the Top 50 chart, while earning more than $48 million. Special features include deleted scenes, bloopers, and audio commentaries.
- Official website
- The Game Plan at the Internet Movie Database
- The Game Plan at AllMovie
- The Game Plan at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Game Plan at Metacritic
- The Game Plan at Box Office Mojo