starring Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Kyle Hyde, Robert Lindsay
screenplay by Adam Brooks and Jennifer Flackett & Mark Levin
directed by Richard Loncraine
by Walter Chaw If you go see Wimbledon, the umpteenth edition of Tired Romantic Comedy Theater, it's only because you have a checklist in your head and aren't content with a film that doesn't satisfy every contrivance. There's the meet-cute, the unlikely match, the handsome rival, the gay best friend, the falling-in-love montage, the plot conflict (spouse, parents), the break-up montage, the public apology, the triumphant reunion. Director Richard Loncraine's tepid foray into Richard Curtis territory is rife with the kind of familiar hallmarks that lull throngs of lonesome Mia Farrows to the warm embrace of The Purple Rose of Cairo--a brief respite from the used paperback bookstores that rely on a steady trade of romance novels the way that independent movie stores rely on porn. In fact, there's not that much of a difference between Wimbledon and porn: plot is predictable and secondary to the performers, who provide whatever interest there might be in the enterprise. Everything else is plug and play, so to speak.