EW Staff
February 05, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Wimbledon

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
100 minutes
Wide Release Date
09/24/04
performer
Paul Bettany, Kirsten Dunst, Jon Favreau, Sam Neill
director
Richard Loncraine
distributor
Universal
author
Adam Brooks
genre
Comedy, Romance, Sports

We gave it a B

Paul Bettany is the beaten-down journeyman. Kirsten Dunst is the fiery American upstart. They meet at the world’s most famous tennis tournament. They fight. They hit some fuzzy green balls. Love blossoms. Sounds like a perfect romantic comedy, right? Except director Richard Loncraine (Richard III) had one little problem: They were both pathetic tennis players. For that, 1987 Wimbledon winner Pat Cash came aboard as an adviser, only to be faced with one star who chain-smokes (Bettany) and another who had something of a temper.

”My first day, I had to be hitting the ball, yelling at the umpire, and serving. And I couldn’t do it,” says Dunst. ”First the ball boy was making fun of me. And then the extras started laughing! When I finally managed it they clapped sarcastically. It totally sucked!” Forget Pat Cash. It sounds like Loncraine would have been better off with McEnroe.

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