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“Players” Promises Cheesy Romance and Action-Packed Comedy

There is a strange sense of comfort and safety in watching a stereotypical and cheesy romantic comedy. Released on Feb. 14, the Netflix original “Players” is the perfect high-calorie take-out meal after a long week of work. The film allows the brain to relax as the story unfolds, foreseeable ending and all.

Breanna Tillie

There is a strange sense of comfort and safety in watching a stereotypical and cheesy romantic comedy. Released on Feb. 14, the Netflix original “Players” is the perfect high-calorie take-out meal after a long week of work. The film allows the brain to relax as the story unfolds, foreseeable ending and all.

“Players” is a light-hearted film not to be taken seriously, but it still explores themes that the audience will inevitably reflect on. A well-developed story, a charming cast of characters and a proper exploration of concepts that the movie touches on can turn even the cheesiest romantic comedy into a meaningful film that the audience can truly appreciate.

The movie features a sports journalist named Mack who, along with her group of friends, devises different “plays” to score hookups. Eventually, Mack finds that she has genuine feelings for a man named Nick whom she casually hooks up with. Her friends help her to launch a game plan where Mack pretends to be someone she’s not so that she may win Nick’s heart. 

The biggest assistance in this plan is Mack’s best friend, Adam, whom Mack has intense chemistry with from the very beginning of the film. Predictably, the plan to win Nick’s heart falls apart when Mack realizes that she would rather have someone who loves her for who she is, just as her best friend Adam does. 

On the positive side, Gina Rodriguez made Mack ridiculously charming despite being a poorly-written main character. If the main character had been played by someone who offered less charisma to the role, this movie would have fallen completely flat. In addition to an outstanding performance by Rodriguez, though this is a rather carefree film, it does shed light on a couple of cultural issues that can lead to some productive dialogue among viewers.

For one, the characters are in their 30s and are still engaging in hookups and one-night stands, but portrays the main character feeling unsatisfied with that type of lifestyle. In the end, the main character realizes that in her pursuit of who she considered to be the “perfect” man is unrealistic. However, given that Adam is the male lead, it perpetuates the controversial narrative that a man and a woman cannot ever be “just best friends.” 

The reason for the poor reviews of this film could be that the main character lacks depth or vulnerability. Though she does have moments where she experiences emotions from past troubles, there is not nearly enough emphasis put on this aspect of her character for the audience to feel any sort of connection to her. The circle of friends also seemed underdeveloped.

The main character is a sports journalist, and while it can certainly be respected that this movie did touch on the layoffs and dying out of the traditional journalist industry, there was almost nothing sports-related except for the word “plays” being said repeatedly in the movie, despite it being promoted as a sports drama on Netflix.

In all honesty, it would be unfair to criticize the movie for being predictable because this is a romantic comedy, and rom-coms play on tropes and stereotypes. They are supposed to provide a lighthearted and relaxed plot where you can predict the ending in the first ten minutes. If someone were in the mood for such a film, “Players” would suffice.