Film & TV

DVD Review: Break Point

A washed-up doubles tennis player makes one last effort to renew his career by teaming up with his estranged brother, an apathetic substitute teacher.

Break Point is a comedy about tennis, rivalry, but most importantly about relationships – brother to brother and brothers to a child. Before watching, I thought I would need to understand the rules of tennis to fully appreciate this film. How wrong I was! The rules and peculiarities of tennis were secondary to the characters and the story, thank goodness.

Jimmy Price is a reckless man and a washed-up doubles tennis player. When his latest partner drops him, he realises he’s officially wasted his opportunities to remain on the pro circuit. He decides to make one last effort to renew his career, reaching outside of the tennis world and convincing his estranged brother, Darren, now an apathetic substitute teacher – to team up with him.

Break_Point_DVDThe oddly matched pair, with the help of a unique 11-year-old named Barry, make an implausible run at a grand slam tournament and rediscover their game, and their brotherhood.

Jeremy Sisto and David Walton play brothers Jimmy and Darren with sincerity. Their chemistry onscreen makes it is easy to believe that they are big brother and little brother even though they look nothing alike. The ups and downs of their reconciliation are hilarious, with just a touch of pathos. As an aside, I appreciated the authentic touch of their tan lines finishing where a tennis player’s should (where the polo shirt meets the arm and where the shorts start).

The stand out performers for me were Joshua Rush as Barry, the boy who wants to be a ball boy and JK Simmons as the boy’s father trying to bring his sons together. Both showed a real depth of understanding for their characters and a realism rarely seen in this genre of comedy.

Director Jay Karas kept the action moving at a steady pace while concentrating on the characterisation to ensure the movie did not become formula.

I enjoyed this movie. There were lots of laughs, but also a fair share of tender moments. I don’t think Break Point will win any matches, but it is a good watch.

Reviewed by Barry Hill
Twitter: @kinesguy

Rating out of 10:  7

Break Point will be released on DVD on 18 May 2016.

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