Marc Feinberg's Poky Rom-Com Play the Game

This Lifetime-ready comedy is hardly provocative—let alone perceptive, funny, or fresh


Play the Game
Slowhand Releasing
Directed by Marc Feinberg
Opens August 28

In 2007, Waitress established that octogenarian TV legend Andy Griffith still had game as a sly charmer, but Marc Feinberg's poky rom-com does his legacy no favors by casting Griffith as an accidentally subversive caricature of his Mayberry prime. "Grandpa's horny," declares Griffith's lonely widow Joe with sitcom believability, and, in a parallel twist on boob-tube history, his estranged son is played by Ron Howard's goofy brother, Clint. But this Lifetime-ready comedy is hardly provocative—let alone perceptive, funny, or fresh—so the respect Feinberg might've earned for addressing the love lives of the elderly is squashed by its insipid A-plot, in which Joe's playboy grandson, David (Paul Campbell), must learn to grow up and stop single-mindedly chasing pussy. The young pick-up artist teaches the old dog some gimmicky tricks, buying his gramps a baby-blue tracksuit and backwards baseball cap, and offering him piggish formulas that begin like: "Step 1 . . . Reconnaissance." The reversal is predictable: David suddenly schemes for monogamous companionship with characterless cutie, Julie (Marla Sokoloff), while Joe pops Viagra and humps half the retirement home. We're thankfully only treated to a chaste close-up of Griffith's doughy puppet face as he's getting head—think Avenue Q.


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