The real Cleveland Browns might want to take a page from Kevin Costner and company in “Draft Day”.
A quick plot summary: “Draft Day”, directed by Ivan Reitman, takes us inside the hours leading up to and during the would-be 2014 NFL draft as fictional Browns general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) tries to improve his struggling team while also trying to balance various personal issues. Weaver gets help from (or, in some cases, is harmed by) salary-cap expert/girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner), head coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary) and owner Harvey Molina (Frank Langella).
I had the chance to catch an advance screening of “Draft Day” on Thursday night in Times Square as part of Super Bowl week festivities. While I can’t quite give you a full review yet (the movie comes out April 11), here are a few nuggets:
- Overall, “Draft Day” has something for everyone, hardcore NFL fan or not. Football geeks will enjoy the finer details of the war room experience, yet the plot itself is captivating enough to hook non-football fans. And there are a few moments that’ll draw some laughs as well.
- Aside from the stars of the movie (Costner, Garner, Leary, Langella), there are quite a few other very recognizable faces--notably, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, Terry Crews, Chadwick Boseman (who played Jackie Robinson in “42”), Tom Welling (Smallville), Ellen Burstyn, Texans running back Arian Foster, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Chris Berman, Jon Gruden, Mel Kiper Jr., Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders and Mike Mayock, just to name a few. (I think I also may have seen my laptop on the draft room floor of Radio City Music Hall, since they filmed part of the movie during the 2013 NFL draft).
- I'll have interviews with cast members during a press conference later today. If you haven’t caught the original trailer yet, watch it above.