The Game Plan: A Fun Family Story That Will Warm Your Heart


The prompt to see this 2005 Disney film came after seeing its ad, which then prompted me to rent it. Since seeing Dwayne Johnson in a number of family-friendly movies, I decided this too had potential. My family sat down to watch this one lazy Sunday afternoon, which inspired a boatload of giggle from my mother and I (I think we drove my dad crazy with all the laughing!) throughout the entire movie. It’s a film that tugs at your heartstrings in equal measures as the laughs. the game plan

The Game Plan (2005) Disney Film Review

NFL megastar quarterback Joe “The King” Kingman (Johnson) has “the life.” His stats on the field have made him a superstar, so much so that he has countless endorsements and has won the public’s affection. On the field he’s a leader but it is all that publicity that has made him conceited. A man without responsibilities, he has all the material possessions he wants, but other than casual girlfriends, at the end of the day, it’s just him and his dog … until he is hit with the biggest surprise of all – he’s a father! The eight-year-old daughter who shows up on his doorstep has all the right answers when questioned about Joe’s former marriage, and still he’s shocked. In a panic he contacts his tenacious manager, Stella (Kyra Sedgwick) and the two attempt to devise a plan of how best to make this “go away.”

The Game Plan
Love #Disney movies? Dwayne Johnson? Football? Then this 2005 comedy is a MUST-SEE! 'The Game Plan': A Fun Family Story That Will Warm Your Heart Click To Tweet

Peyton (Madison Pettis) is a clever, adorable child who isn’t about to let the fact that the man she has known from afar as her father doesn’t want her, deter her. His size dwarfs her but she shares her father’s pointed determination… and could cause twice the trouble if given the chance.

Disney didn’t script new story with this screenplay, but they do put their own spin on it and it’s something that really works to their advantage. The cast is fantastic most especially from young Madison, to say nothing of the fact that she is adorable. Her matter-of-fact attitude is priceless and the way she relates to Dwayne is irresistible. Seeing Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer‘s Brenda Leigh) in this was a nice surprise (she was completely different but still has a number of zingers). The supporting cast includes Morris Chestnut and Roslyn Sanchez.

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Typical of this plot, a warm-fuzzy feeling controls the majority of the run time and is what viewers have come to expect from such a story – and if being honest, we want that feel-good emotion to rule something so entertaining. Each of the characters relate to each other and the audience well. (It isn’t hard to like any of them.) The plot has a few holes that require belief suspension, but this doesn’t matter because the story pulls you in. The script also plays with some clichés, but I couldn’t have cared less in this situation.

The humorous parallels (ballet and football) ties together some really cute things in the story. The writer’s giving Joe a female child was really the only logical choice. Obviously this is there to present further challenges; Peyton’s a total girl who cannot be cajoled into the manly sport of football as an eight-year-old boy may have been. Each of these scenes (even the heartbreaking ones) are beautiful on-screen as each scenario unfolds either comically or in the most touching fashion possible. The Game Plan sparkles with a sweet premise. There’s nothing but genuine laughs and charming lessons of love sewn through, which those of us who like fun storytelling appreciate.

This one is PG because of some minor implications of intimacy in relationships. Peyton is hurt by things her father says, and is defiant at times (albeit always cute).

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Me and my family watched this movie a couple years ago I believe, we have loved ever since then. It is such a great movie with so many funny scenes. Mom favorite part was the ballet recital :D And we also love the Cinnamon cookies. Great review! Oh and I think it was your review of The Selection that made me want to read it, I don't think I was able to comment though… Team Maxon! Sierra
    Keep growing beautiful!

  2. Sierra – isn't it though? I love a film that can "tickle *your* funny bone" in genuine ways – or in simpler terms: uses humor that is NOT crude. The laughs are "real" in this movie and that is what makes me love it most. (Well… that and the character of Payton. :-D)

    The ballet / cinnamon cookie parts ARE the best. ;-)

    Aw! Really? I am glad my thoughts on the 'Selection' inspired you to read it – thank you. (Sometimes I wonder if my ramblings make any sense to anyone else. LOL!) I appreciate that. Maxon is (so far) my very fave.

    Glad you dropped by.

    Rosie – so do I. So do I. It is WAY cute. :-)

    Gwendolyn – awww! You must! It is ridiculously cute – my family just re-watched it and we found it as funny (if not more) the second time through. It is "classic" that way. :-)

    If Blockbuster doesn't have it, be sure to check your local video store. Enjoy!

    Ella – you and me both! It is just… adorable. That dance recital was great and I loved his team mates reaction after their poking fun of him. ;-D

    Jennifer – yes, it sure is! I love the humor and acting – and young Madison is just too cute.

    Lydia – ditto. :-)

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