Film

This Plot Is as Old as Diapers

A Review of The Game Plan

Back in the salad days of the early-to-mid-to-late 19th or 20th century sometime, one bitchy suffragette (let's call her Susan B. Anthony) was on her period, as usual. "I tire of childcare!" she screeched, "Why can a man not care for a child? Surely a mister can be a mom! A cop can manage a kindergarten! Three men can scrape feces from the buttocks of a baby, and a fat uncle can cook a very, very large pancake, and these things are not beyond the ken of a just and decent society! Also, hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt." Then she died.

Now, when the president of Hollywood (let's call him Louis B. Mayer) heard Susan B. Anthony's idea, he leaned back in his chair and cracked his knuckles. "$$$$$$$$$," he said to no one in particular, "$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$ $$$$$$." And lo, the mother-man genre of cinema was born.

Sometimes we, the public, are forced to endure three-month stretches without the intoxicating wackiness of a Big Daddy or a The Pacifier. Those are dark days. But it's time to stop crying, people, and take a big old sniff of what Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is cooking. Because guess what? It's baby poop, and it smells hilarious.

In The Game Plan, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is Joe Kingman, a self-obsessed football player who is simultaneously known as "The King," "Never Say No Joe," and "#1 on the Field and #1 in Your Hearts." When an annoying 7-year-old named Peyton appears, claiming to be his daughter, Joe finds himself in a genuine pickle. "Sorry, annoying child," he tells her, "I cannot care for you. You see, I am a man, and my apartment is full to capacity with trophies, catchphrases, megabucks, protein shakes, wet muscles, and my penis." Two hours pass, and they do ballet together, and Peyton exclaims, "Daddy, you won the championship!" and Daddy replies, "Aw, Peyton! I won much more than that!" and they hug, and you and I are two hours closer to the grave.

editor@thestranger.com

 

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