Draft Day is perfectly likable, but it wouldn’t really make the cut for anyone’s fantasy team of sports movies. It’s superficial entertainment geared toward the ESPN Sports Center crowd, with a bit of chick-flick appeal — sort of a rookie version of Jerry McGwire meets Moneyball.
Kevin Costner plays Sonny Weaver, the general manager of football’s Cleveland Browns who is tasked with ‘making a splash’ on Draft Day if he expects to keep his job. It’s a dramatic day that can have a life-changing impact on the lives of front-office personnel, coaches, players and NFL hopefuls across the country. Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number-one draft pick. But his decisions come with consequences, personal and professional.
Jennifer Garner plays Weaver’s love interest and the team’s salary-cap manager. She’s perfectly likeable in the role, but the age difference between her and (a still quite attractive) Costner makes the romance seem a bit creepy even as the plot tries to turn the trophy-girlfriend stereotype on its head.
The movie has some fun cameos from pro football players and broadcasters, and a decent supporting cast that includes Chadwick Boseman (42), Denis Leary (Rescue Me) and a buffed up Tom Welling (Smallville).
But the dialogue sometimes borders on cheesy and the movie definitely crosses the 50-yard-line in predictability. Still, it should score well as a DVD rental or airplane flick.