- Jason Davis

There's a shortage of good American soccer movies in this world. Sylvester Stallone's goalmouth heroics in a German war camp aside, most of the soccer films made with a tinge of Yank flavor are of the youth-soccer variety. When they do involve professionals, the premise tends to be ridiculous, the cameos unsubtle, the soccer action clumsy.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the collections will improve any time soon, with two stars from across The Pond set to roll out tired plot devices. Instead of the bumbling-dad-turns-the-rag-tag-bunch-into-a-winner (a story done in every sport multiple times, with Kicking and Screaming being the most recent notable soccer example), the paradigm has shifted to foreign-ex-player-coaches-American-youth-team-hilarity-and/or-sexiness-ensues.

Gerard Butler is already filming one of these, titled "Playing the Field." In addition to the Irishman Scotsman (oops), Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Judy Greer and Catherine Zeta-Jones are on board. This sounds like less of a soccer movie than a "Desperate Housewives" rehash with a soccer mom backdrop. In fact, even if this turns out to be decent film, it will probably be a stretch to call it a soccer movie. The flick was originally going to be a baseball story, but the addition of Butler obviously necessitated a change in the concept. Lovely.

Russell Brand wants to do a soccer movie too. Set in Texas, the script calls for the English comedian to play an alcoholic ex-footballer stranded in a place where no one cares about the sport. A fish-out-of-water soccer picture? Awesome!

Brand's character will definitely find himself in some wacky situations when he calls the game "football" in the middle of American football-mad Texas!

The exclamation points are making me nauseous. Is it too much to ask for a "serious" big budget soccer movie that doesn't involve soccer moms, youth soccer, or culture shock?

A note for Hollywood: Americans can be ex-professional soccer players, too. Really, I swear.

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