Works better as a sports movie than a love match.
  • Review Date: December 28, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know


Characters hit by tennis balls, brief fight.


References to masturbation and pornography, shower scene with partial nudity, characters have a very casual attitude toward sex, sexual references and situations.


Strong language (British and American).

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that characters treat sex extremely casually, referring to it as a way to stay loose and relax during competition. Similarly, love or sustained relationships are perceived as distracting the athletes from competition and weakening the killer instinct. This movie has profanity of the British and American varieties, and includes a brief scene of nudity as well as implicit sexual situations. Characters drink alcohol. A character alludes to the loss of her mother.

What's the story?

When fading tennis player Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) draws a wild-card slot at Wimbledon, he decides it will be his last hurrah on the court. While physically still game at 32, his intense personal monologues demonstrate why he is a long-shot. His pre-service thoughts include the mantra "I'm going to choke... ". Along comes his anima and muse, intensely focused Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) to awake in him his killer instinct and self-confidence so that he can win one last time. Their contrasting styles are a study in British and American stereotypes, with his tact, dry humor and quiet desperation playing against her ambition, bluntness and childish enthusiasm. While Lizzie is a supremely self-assured competitor as long as tennis is the subject, she talks with her trainer/father (Sam Neill) in cringing little-girl tones and cannot stand up to him when he tells her not to become involved with Peter. Her father is all about winning, and he worries that Peter will be a distracting emotional entanglement.

Is it any good?


Sun-splashed shots and a series of beautiful, thoroughly English sets get this sports-romantic-comedy over the net, but a clumsy romance with flat dialogue means WIMBLEDON is far from an ace. The quick, cleverly shot movie becomes flat-footed when Dunst and Bettany share the screen. She seems an excellent match for him on the tennis court, but in the scenes where they get to know each other, Peter seems more an older brother than a potential love-interest. Like Dunst, Bettany is a treat to watch but he seems unable to shed his tendency to be more observer than participant.

On the sports level, the movie is at its best. With lots of diving for shots, zooming angles and super-powered serves, tennis never looked so exciting. The scenes with Peter and his practice partner, Dieter (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) deserve a buddy film of their own, and serve as the warmest and funniest in the film, which does not say much for the Colt/Bradbury love match. The commentators on this game might quibble over the final score, but the movie stays well within the lines of solid entertainment even if the love match never breaks out of the second-tier circuit.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Lizzie and her father, about how the combined role of being a father and a trainer might be a challenge, and about how Lizzie succeeds (or not) in communicating with him. They might also wish to discuss the challenge of living the athletes' lifestyle and how it alters their relationships with friends and family.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 17, 2004
DVD release date:December 28, 2004
Cast:Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Sam Neill
Director:Richard Loncraine
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language, sexuality and partial nudity

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bychrp9 March 5, 2009
Adult Written byB Mackabee April 9, 2008

OK, but not the greatest

This movie is your typical chick flick- girl and guy meet as some sort of 'destiny', their relationship 'won't work' (the Romeo and Juliet complex) for whatever reason, and they fall in love anyways. Awwww, isn't that sweet. Of course, this movie luckily adds a tennis spin that makes it a little more worthwhile to see. Without that, this movie would just be even more carbon-copied. Only see it if you're an absolute believer in the chick-flick formula, or some sort of die-hard tennis fan.
Teen, 17 years old Written bygoldenlion666 June 29, 2012


good film, think before u see
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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