A fabulous cast and clichéd plot leaves streamers feeling played by ‘Players’

TOM Ellis as Nick with Gina Rodriguez as Mack in a scene from Players. | Supplied

TOM Ellis as Nick with Gina Rodriguez as Mack in a scene from Players. | Supplied

Published Feb 23, 2024


It’s the month of love ‒ of course everyone is gravitating towards romcoms. But I feel like streamers got played with “Players” on Netflix.

The film is directed by Trish Sie and written by Whit Anderson.

Streamers are wooed by a fabulous cast of Gina Rodriguez, Damon Wayans jr and Tom Ellis, among others, but betrayed by a hackneyed plot.

Mack (Rodriquez) is a sports writer at a struggling media outlet in New York City. She whiles away much of her time plotting hook-up schemes with her besties: Adam (Damon Wayans jr), Brannagan (Augustus Prew) and Little (Joel Courtney).

THE cast of Players. | Supplied

But the group's bar-hopping days of one-night hookups get put on the back burner when Mack hooks up with Nick (Ellis). The dashing war correspondent and author sweeps Mack off her feet.

With the help of her friends, they plot a foolproof game plan to make Nick her boyfriend. Ashley (Liza Koshy) from the office is roped into the plan.

In executing a series of serendipitous meetings, Nick starts warming up to Mack. The problems start when the two start dating.

GINA Rodriguez as Mack in a scene from Players | Supplied

In trying to become the ideal woman for him, Mack starts making compromises like ordering a bronzini (she hates it by the way) that don’t sit well with Adam, her ride-or-die.

The final straw for Adam is when Nick rewrites a heartfelt personal feature of Mack’s, leaving her to second-guess herself.

“Players” attempts to be fun, refreshing and somewhat smart-arsed à la “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” or “Maid in Manhattan”. But it falls short of doing so.

While they are talented actors, there is simply no spark between Rodriquez and Wayans jr. The scenes ramble from one dating folly to another, with the two of them in different relationships.

The overarching love story is also underpinned by Mack attempting to save her job and make inroads in her beat.

Sadly, the romcom, while well-cast, plays it a little too safe and, in doing so, leaves the audience worn out by the silly shenanigans.

∎ “Players” is streaming on Netflix.