Movie Review: Love on the Sidelines (2016)

Synopsis: Laurel Welk is an aspiring fashion designer who, needing money and not wanting to move back home with her parents, takes a job as a personal assistant for Danny Holland, an injured professional football player. She is determined to succeed but is hindered both by her lack of football knowledge and Danny's reluctance to have a female assistant.

Who's in it? The movie stars Emily Kinney, John Reardon, Hayley Sales, Luisa d' Oliveira and Victor Zinck Jr.

Review: I came across this movie a few weeks ago and, while I originally intended on watching it with my wife, wound up watching it last night after she went to bed (mostly because I was bored, and I couldn't find anything else). Overall, it ended up being what I expected it to be, both in a good way and a bad way.

First of all, I am going to start out by saying I loved Emily Kinney in her starring role as Laurel. She was always one of my favorites from The Walking Dead and played this character perfectly. Her and Reardon had great chemistry and their respective characters' romance didn't seem forced, moving at a much more natural pace. That chemistry did ultimately make the film watchable.

That being said, I did find Laurel's lack of sports knowledge more than a little irritating at times, mostly because it wasn't very believable. I'm not saying every woman from the Midwest is a football fan, but I do find it hard to believe one could grow up there and have zero knowledge. My own daughters have never watched a Green Bay Packers game with me but at least know the basic terminology. 

Plus, at minimum, read the room. How can she sit in a sports bar, with a game on TV, and not know what people are talking about? Really?

I also feel like this movie could have been slightly less predictable had the writers at least given Laurel some sort of challenge. This is especially true of his supermodel girlfriend (Ashley Diana Morris), who obviously had nothing in common with him. Just once, I'd like to see one of these movies at least make it somewhat difficult by having the guy choose between two women he has legitimate feelings for. 

To be fair, they at least tried by giving Laurel another potential love interest (Zinck). It's just too bad that never seemed like something that actually had a chance of happening because it might have succeeded in making the film slightly less predictable.

Final Opinion: As I said, it was pretty much the predictable movie I was expecting but Kinney's great performance makes it better than expected and I admittedly enjoyed it, even if I wasn't watching it with my wife.

My Grade: B+


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