When I first saw the trailer for the film Draft Day, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner, I was less than enthused. Although I love the NFL and am a hardcore Chicago Bears fan, I have never watched, nor have I ever had any interest in, the NFL draft. I wasn’t planning on spending any of my hard earned cash on seeing the film in theaters, but when I got the opportunity to see a free advanced screening of the film as an AMC Rewards member, I figured I could give the film a shot.
The beginning almost lost me with all the techinical jargon being thrown around, but things got easier to follow not long after. Kevin Costner plays Sonny Weaver, Jr, the General Manager (GM) of the Cleveland Browns, and although he has been GM for previous years, he has yet to have complete control of his team’s draft picks. Draft Day is about Sonny’s quest to mold the future of his team as he sees fit, without the pressure of the owner of the team, played by Frank Langella, or his recently deceased father, Sonny Weaver.
Costner’s love interest in Draft Day is the team executive Ali, played by Garner. Their relationship seems to be forced into this film that was meant to be an advertisement for the National Football League. Costner and Garner’s romance is a secret in the Brown’s organization, but Garner’s pregnant character secretely yearns for Costner’s character to publicize their love. In my opinion, the romance could have been eliminated from the film altogether, or should have been made stronger.
The film had a great selection of comedic moments, although many of them were included in the previews. A lot of the comedic moments are given by the intern (Griffin Newman), the stud draft pick, Bo Callahan (Josh Pence), Coach Penn (Denis Leary) and the Brown’s quarterback, Brian Drew (Tom Welling), as well as a few others. It’s not an outright comedy, but it’s not super dramatic, either.
The editing in Draft Day seemed like it was aiming to start a new trend. In several scenes where Sonny Weaver, Jr is on the phone with another team’s GM attempting to make a trade or communicating with potential top draft picks, the editing team place a solid line down the center of the screen that is sometimes able to be crossed. For instance, Costner will completely cross the line and walk in front of the person on the other line . This type of editing is a poor choice because it makes it seem unreal. I was really taken aback the first time it popped up on screen.
In the end, seeing the film did change my opinion on Draft Day. However, I still think that it’s more meant for men or women who really love watching the draft. And for those that are in relationships with someone who can’t get enough of the NFL draft, this film may help you gain some understanding. If you are interested in seeing the film, Draft Day will be in theaters April 11th.