Just because you have what seems like a good idea for a movie does not necessarily mean you will make a good movie. Following me? The idea of making a film about a young girl in the 1970s who has to fight against preconceived notions about girls and sports in order to try out for the varsity soccer team is a good one. It gives young girls today some insight into what happened before them. They get a chance to see that their right to play sports was won for them by some brave young women; it was not something that always was. If your idea for a film also includes the aspect that the young girl is fighting so hard to get on the varsity soccer team in order to fulfill her older brother's, who was killed in a car accident, desire to win the championship then that adds another worthwhile aspect to the film. These two things actually happened as the film is based on the life of actress Elizabeth Shue.
Unfortunately for the memory of Elizabeth and Andrew Shue's brother (who was a talented soccer player who died very young in a car accident) the resulting film plays more like a movie of the week rather than a feature film. Not that I'm being a film snob and saying that movies of the week have no intrinsic value. They do; it's just that this film aspired to be a feature. The entire film wrought with melodrama. For example, whenever someone is giving a from the heart speech it seems to be in the rain. A bit over the top for my tastes. Director David Guggenheim, (An Inconvenient Truth, Gossip) who is married to Elizabeth Shue, might have been too close to the story to have any perspective. There are definitely some important messages in the film about women and sport and how to deal with tragedy in a positive way. It certainly is a 'feel good' film, but filled with too many implausible and overly sappy moments.
Fifteen-year-old Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder – Firewall, Toy Story 2) is the only girl in a soccer mad family. Her father (Dylan Mulroney – Georgia Rule, My Best Friend's Wedding), Bryan, trains her three brothers hard every day, but does not pay any attention to Gracie's obvious skills and desire. Most of his attention is lavished upon his eldest son Johnny (Jesse Lee Soffer – The Brady Bunch Movie), who is a very good soccer player. When Johnny is killed in a car accident one night everything changes for the Bowens. Each one of them copes differently. Bryan turns his back completely on soccer whereas Gracie decides that she is going to take Johnny's place on the varsity soccer team and lead them to the championship. But to get a chance to accomplish her desire Gracie will have to convince the school and even her own father that a girl is good enough to play varsity soccer.
-Life Lessons in Sport
-Bringing Gracie to Film