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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 15.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Wimbledon
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I'll say this for Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany, the stars of Wimbledon: They look great together. The blond hair, the blue eyes, the strangely pale skin - I didn't really buy them as tennis pros, but they'd have no trouble modeling in the J. Crew catalog. Both have done interesting work in the past. Both will do interesting work in the future. But Wimbledon isn't about being interesting, it's about looking good in tennis whites. And it's about riding the wave of British-American romantic comedy set in motion by Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. As Peter Colt, a British tennis player who was once ranked 11th in the world but has slunk to 119th in his career's twilight years, Bettany tries to match Hugh Grant dither for dither. It doesn't seem to come naturally to him, but this is apparently how we prefer our Englishmen.

Competing at Wimbledon for the last time, Peter meets Dunst's Lizzie Bradbury, who's competing there for the first time. Where Peter lacks the killer's instinct, Lizzie has it in spades, and their relationship, which evolves from sex to love, both toughens him up and softens her up. He starts winning matches, she starts losing them, and you can imagine what effect that has on the story. Or, if you can't imagine it, you may want to check out the movie, which follows a predictable course to its happy ending. It's at its best early on, when Lizzie's in control, calling and making the shots. Dunst doesn't really project the fierce determination of a champion, but the scenes where Lizzie takes the lead in wooing Peter have a nice role-reversal charge. Of less importance than whether Peter will win Wimbledon is whether Lizzie will respect him in the morning.

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