THE GAME PLAN
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
As the opening credits run we are introduced to Boston Rebel QB, Joe Kingman (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). He lives in a luxury hi-rise, loves Elvis and himself.
Cut to a football game, Joe scores the winning TD and the Broncos have qualified for the playoffs.
At a celebratory/New Years Eve party Joe is really living it up. One by one, his teamates leave and Joe is left alone with his one friend, his dog Spike.
The next day, Joe is watching an ESPN segment on himself and shows him saying that “Life holds many pleasures but nothing beats the thrill of playing on that field next Sunday. Beyond the field, nothing else matters.” The reporter then questions Joe’s selfishness and wonders if that’s why he’s never won a championship.
Suddenly the doorman calls up telling Joe that there’s a cute young lady asking for him. Joe says, “what are you waiting for, send her up!”
Turns out the “young lady” is actually a little girl. Joe thinks she’s selling girl scout cookies or something and tells her to go away but she runs into his apartment when she sees Spike. Joe tells her that her dad must be looking for her but she corrects him saying no, her dad is looking AT her.
Turns out that she is his daughter from an earlier marriage. Her name is Peyton and her mom is Sarah. He claims he and Sarah never had a kid. Peyton gives him a note from her were she says he needs to watch her for a month, she’ll explain later. Peyton even has a birth certificate listing him as her father.
He immediately calls in his agent, Stella (Kyra Sedgwick) and wants her to fix this problem. He says that yes, she could be his daughter. Her mom is in Africa helping the people of Sudan. Joe recommends that Peyton stay with Sarah’s sister Karen but Peyton tells him that she’s dead.
Joe has to take her to practice and on the drive Peyton is pelting him with many, many questions. One of them is “what’s the best thing that ever happened to you?” Joe instead asks Peyton why her mother didn’t drop her off but Peyton changes the subject and gives him a cookie.
At practice Joe begins talking funny, turns out he’s allergic to the cinnamon in the cookie. The teammates begin making fun of his speech and are shocked to see he has a kid. He also has to tape a promo spot but just can’t get the words out.
Back at home Joe is struggling with his parenting skills such as meals for kids and bedtime stories. Instead, Peyton tells him a bedtime story and he falls asleep.
In the morning Sarah calls Peyton, asking her how it’s going. We learn that Sarah thinks Peyton is at ballet camp, she knows nothing about her being with Joe.
Joe gets up and teaches her how to make “Joe’s juice” a healthy shake. They discuss school and she says she’s on break. She changes the subject again by making a huge mess with the blender and shake. He tells her she is banned from the kitchen by giving her a gameplan with the kitchen off limits.
At practice, the agent shows up with a group of nannies and Joe picks a cute one out of the bunch who seems a little crazy.
That night Joe goes to an opening of his new restaurant with Peyton in tow. His teammates are there and she ends up befriending the meanest of the players by discussing doll fashion. Everyone has a good time but on the way home Joe realizes he left Peyton at the party. The press is there and they have a field day with the fact he left his daughter at a bar.
Stella is now trying to make him look like a good parent and calls a press conference. She says she is the janitor, Joe is the mop and Peyton in the mess. She begins by selling his sports car and gives him his new SUV with a #1 dad license plate. Stella warns Peyton that she’d better do whatever it takes to help her father here. Peyton will on one condition - no nanny.
The press conference begins and Peyton is sitting right up there with her dad. He tries his best to say all the right things but the press isn’t buying it. Peyton then takes over the press conference and is simply charming, the press eats it up. She ends giving Joe a big hug, telling him he’s the world’s best father.
Joe takes Peyton to a ballet class and tries to impress the instructor with who he is but she’s not having it. She’s never even heard of him.
While watching a basketball game at home with his teammates he gets upset at them for making a big mess of his place. He’s basically acting like a parent. All of a sudden the exciting game is just about to end when Peyton turns on a horse show. They miss the dramatic finish. The guys all leave and an upset Joe send Peyton upstairs to take a bath and go to bed.
Next thing you know, there are bubbles everywhere, up to the ceiling. Joe is about to have it out with her until he discovers that Peyton has “bedazzled” his football. Not knowing what to do, they both just go to bed.
It’s now playoff time and the Boston Rebels are in Denver for the big game.
Peyton is watching the game at the stadium with Stella. Boston wins, even though Joe was kind of a ball hog.
Cut to a few weeks later at Ballet practice...
Joe is late picking up Peyton because his football practice ran long. The instructor brings Peyton to the football camp to drop her off. To make up for it, the instructor convinces Joe to practice ballet with her. Joe is clumsy but very strong. She runs him through a rigid ballet practice and it totally wears him out. The two of them are slowly becoming attracted to each other.
The next day Peyton’s mom calls again and Peyton emails her photos she took from her ballet class (not from the camp her mom thinks she’s at). Joe comes in and shows Peyton the brand new bedroom he made for her.
Joe tells her that sometimes life throws something at you and you have to call an audible, like when she entered his life.
Peyton asks Joe again, “What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?” Before Joe can answer, the phone rings...
It’s one of his out-of-town girlfriends, Tatiana, who just happens to be in town. When she arrives, Peyton introduces herself asking if she’s one of Joe’s long lost daughter’s too. Tatiana and Joe are going out to dinner but Peyton isn’t coming along, she’ll be staying with the neighbors.
They leave and Tatiana is shocked (as is Joe) when they realizes his jacked is “bedazzled”. His SUV arrives from the valet and all of a sudden the neighbor runs down telling Joe that Peyton in allergic to their dog (faking it). The date is cancelled.
Peyton can’t believe that Joe walked out on her mom just so he could hang out with women like Tatiana. She also said her mom talked about Joe’s head being so big she was surprised they made a helmet big enough to fit it. Joe suddenly remembers why he left her and realizes that she and Peyton are just alike.
Frustrated, Peyton walks away and Joe tells her to get back and tell him what she wants. Peyton turns around and cries out...”My Mom!”
Joe turns to one of his giant Elvis posters and asks it for advice. Next thing you know, Joe is serenading Peyton with “Are You Lonesome Tonight” outside her door. Peyton lets him in, telling him that her mom said she fell in love with him because of his guitar playing and singing but to her, she sounds like a moose. Joe says he would do anything for her. “Anything?” she asks.
Next thing you know they are at a girls store in the mall and they run into Peyton’s ballet teacher. Peyton runs up excited about a new color fingernail polish.
Cut to fooball practice and Joe’s pink fingernailed hands are gripping the ball. It cuts back and forth where Peyton is a big hit at football practice and Joe is a big hit at Ballet practice. Good times everywhere
They don’t show the next game but Boston beats Indianapolis to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
It’s now time for a ballet recital and Joe drops Peyton off backstage. The instructor hands Joe an outfit for him too; he’ll be performing also. Peyton is pretty nervous but once Joe shows her his costume she loves him even more and she’s no longer nervous. His teammates show up to watch him as well.
The recital goes off without a hitch and Joe performs magnificently. It ends with a passionate dance between Joe and the instructor, leaving his teammates in tears.
Cut from the celebration at the end of the ballet to a celebration at the end of the next football game which they won. Next stop is the championship game.
Joe, the instructor and Peyton go out to lunch. Joe mentions that he only has Peyton for a few more days. Peyton lets it slip up that she needs to get back home before her mom gets back. It all comes out now.... She’s supposed to be at a ballet program but instead she ran away to meet him. Her mom isn’t even in Africa. Suddenly Peyton starts freaking out, she’s eaten nuts which she’s allergic to. Instead of waiting for an ambulance, Joe picks her up and runs her across town to the hospital. Joe and all his teammates are waiting in the waiting room when the nurse brings him the good news that she’ll be okay.
Next thing you know, Karen, Joe’s ex-wife’s sister arrives, threatening to send him to jail. She is the one that we thought all along was Joe’s ex-wife. Turns out that his wife died 6 months earlier and Peyton had been living with her aunt. Karen is ready to take Peyton home but now Joe wants her, saying she needs her father.
Peyton says she wants to go home with Aunt Karen. She never should have come here.
Joe is now home, alone once again with Spike. He finds a bag of Peyton’s with a notebook inside. Written in it is the question, “What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?”
He also finds a letter written to him by his ex, explaining all about Peyton. She was too afraid to tell him about her.
A depressed Joe is looking over game footage and realizes that he really is selfish. He calls Peyton to tell her that he and Spike really miss her.
It’s now gametime!
The press is questioning him about Peyton and if it will affect his gameplay now that she’s gone. He says that he wants her there with him, even if he never played another football game. (The complete opposite of his quote at the beginning of the film). He continues on saying that there’s nothing he loves more than his daughter, nothing.
Now the question is will Joe finally get his chance at glory.
Boston and Joe are playing horribly. The announcer says that whatever is bothering Joe, he has to put it aside, his team is depending on him. Just before halftime, Joe is crushed by the defenders. He’s not moving and is carried off on a stretcher. He has a separated shoulder and bruised ribs. Joe decides not to continue, telling the coach to put in the backup.
Next thing you know, Peyton appears in the locker room. Karen brought her. Joe asks Peyton what she’s doing here and she explains that she called an audible. She thought he’d be better off without him but she was wrong. She says she loves him and wants to come home, his home. She convinces him to go back into the game.
Before he hits the field, he tells her that she’s the best thing that ever happened to him.
He runs back on the field with 1:03 left in the game, 65 yards away from the win.
It eventually comes down to 4 seconds left, 17 yards away. The announcer says that this is the stuff that legends are made of.
Joe scrambles and makes an incredible pass for a touchdown. Joe is finally a champion.
Stella had been working the entire movie for this moment for Joe to make a commercial endorsement for a hamburger chain but when he’s asked on national TV, “Joe, you’ve just won the championship, what are you going to do now?” Instead of the planned line he picks up Peyton and says...”I’m gonna take my daughter home!’
Peyton tells him, “Daddy, you won the championship!” He replies, “Baby, I won much more than that!”
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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It turns out that the woman we thought was Peyton's mom is really her aunt. Her mother died six months earlier.
Peyton shows up at halftime of the championship game, talks an injured Joe into returning and Joe and the Rebels win the Championship.
She tells Joe that she was wrong and wants to live with him afterall.
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