What’s happened to Gerard Butler?

Biel and Butler in “Playing for Keeps.” (Dale Robinette/PHOTO CREDIT: DALE ROBINETTE)

At one time, he was Hollywood’s most beloved bellower thanks to his ability to shout repeatedly about glory in “300.” He was starring in movies with Jennifer Aniston that weren’t very good, but generated a bit of media buzz because, you know, Aniston. And he was developing a strong set of female admirers, including quite a few who read this blog.

But this year, his movie choices have been abysmal. (“Spartans! Prepare for garbage!”)

First he starred in “Chasing Mavericks,” a surf drama that next to no one saw and almost no critic liked. (Rotten Tomatoes rating: 34 percent positive.) Now he’s in the rom-com “Playing for Keeps,” which opens around the country today and so far, has managed to be panned by every member of the media who was paid to watch it. Its ranking on Rotten Tomatoes: 0 percent positive.

After reading the review by the Post’s Ann Hornaday, there is part of me that wants to see this, if only so I can play that time-honored game called “Track the Disappearing Baguette.” But it’s a very small part of me, one that will quickly channel its energy into re-watching “Skyfall” instead.

From a career standpoint, Butler can avoid some of the blame for this movie since it’s an ensemble effort. And within that ensemble, he’s joined by a number of actors who also should have had better things to do, including Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jessica Biel, who currently must be restraining herself from parading down Hollywood Blvd. while wearing a sandwich board that says “PLEASE SEE ME IN ‘HITCHCOCK’ INSTEAD.”

But unless Butler redeems himself by doing something affably insane in “Movie 43,” that oddity of an indie that comes out in January and stars virtually everyone who has a SAG card, some of his admirers may be go back to what they were doing before Butler came along: focusing on Russell Crowe.

Do you plan to see “Playing for Keeps”? If so, can one write it off on his or her 2012 taxes as a charity contribution to the Save Gerard Butler’s Career Foundation? Please, feel free to discuss these matters in the comments section.