Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Favorite movies about sports

If you enjoy watching any of these sport-themed movies, you may just want to try watching (or in some cases, maybe playing!) the actual sport providing the backdrop for said movie...just don't expect to have Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a coach or to actually see angels in the outfield...though I guess never say never!

1. Angels in the Outfield (1994) - Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a foster kid who just wants a family and when his deadbeat dad (played by sexy Dermot Mulroney!) promises him they can live together when the Angels (a terrible team) win the pennant, Gordon-Levitt starts seeing angels who help the team play better and help them believe in themselves. I cry every frickin' time. And this is a frickin' children's movie. Good grief. Christopher Lloyd, Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Adrien Brody, and Matthew McConaughey are also in it. I'm reminded of this movie now every time Angel Pagan hits for the Mets because the fans in the stands flap their arms (like wings), the signal Gordon-Levitt uses in the movie to help manager Glover whenever he sees an angel. I think I'm gonna cry right now...

2. Little Giants (1994) - I am a sucker for these kids' sports flicks! And I was 15 when both of these movies came out!...anyway, this movie is awesome. Rick Moranis and Ed O'Neill are brothers. O'Neill, a former Heisman Trophy winner, coaches the town's peewee football team and only picks the good kids, except for his niece and Moranis' daughter, Becky aka Icebox, who is the best player of them all. So Moranis starts his own ragtag misfit team to play O'Neill's team to see which one will represent their town in the league. So many of the gags crack me up. Look for a young Devon Sawa playing Junior. Kids who just want to play football because they love football - this movie is definitely another tearjerker for me...

3. Remember the Titans (2000) - based on the true story of a southern high school football team that in its first year of being racially integrated was led to an undefeated season by its black coach, played by Denzel Washington. By learning to respect each other and understand each other and be a team, the team helps the school and town to do the same. Blah blah blah. Makes me cry every time. Will Patton, Ethan Suplee, Donald Faison, Kip Pardue, Hayden Panettiere, Kate Bosworth, and Ryan Gosling are among the star-studded cast.

4. Major League (1989) - I love frat boy comedies and I love physical comedy, and I love stories about misfits who are a complete mess and have to come together as a team. Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes, and Dennis Haysbert are among the cast. I also enjoy the 1994 follow-up.

5. The Replacements (2000) - when the pro football players go on strike, the has-beens and never-weres get a chance to take centerstage. Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman headline this movie, but Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau, and Rhys Ifans steal the movie with their hilarious antics. Oh, as do the scab cheerleaders (aka strippers). Also, if you're a fan of NBC's "The Office," look for David Denman (Roy) playing a deaf player.

6. Bend It Like Beckham (2002) - girls, this is a sports movie for girls about girls who play sports! Soccer, to be exact. Jess Bhamra comes from a strict Sikh family that won't let her play "football" (the movie takes place in England). David Beckham is her hero and she's really very good so she sneaks around to join a team where she befriends Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is her coach. It doesn't make me cry (although it does make me sad that Jess and the other girls aspire to play pro soccer in the US, which no longer has a women's league), it does make me laugh, I did fall in love with Rhys Meyers, but it's just a fun, feel-good, sports movie about girls for it!

I'll update this list as I think of more...

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