Leatherheads is not really a football movie though football is central to the story. It is also a bit of a fifties style screwball romantic comedy with some serious moments here and there. Leatherheads is not a brilliant movie but it is a well-made movie and an entertaining DVD.
George Clooney directs Leatherheads and also stars as Dodge Connelly, a charming rogue trying to eke out a living in the very early days of professional football. The game is not getting any respect or any fans. Things are so bad Connelly’s team loses a game because somebody stole the football. If he is to continue being a professional football player, Connelly must find a real star for the game. Enter war hero Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski) whose war record is a page off Sergeant York’s. Rutherford attracts crowds, a schemer, and the attention of a female journalist (Zellwegger) who is out to find out the truth behind his story.
Everything works in Leatherheads and it really gets the viewer in the mid-twenties with a great musical score and an attention to detail that is commendable. The movie lacks that extra little pizzazz that would have made it great even if the Clooney - Zellwegger relationship will remind film fans of classic silver screen bickering couples.
Still, this is a very entertaining movie the whole family can enjoy (aside from a couple of mild four-letter words near the end). Older fans will see the many tips of the hat to classic screwball comedies of the late forties early fifties and younger fans will also like those moments.
Special features on the Leatherheads DVD include the usual boring director’s commentary, a bit on a prank Clooney played on the cast, and a digital copy of the movie.