Football season is upon us. That would probably mean a lot more to UVU if we had a football team, but until that day, here are some flicks about the gridiron to tide us over.
Leatherheads – This 2008 comedy from director George Clooney is a throwback to the lightning fast comedic dialogue of the films from the ’30s and ’40s. Clooney plays Dodge Connelly, an aging pro football player struggling to keep his team financially alive. He decides to recruit college standout and WW1 hero Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski from the Office) to help bring in the fans. Lexie Littleton (Rene Zellweger) plays a small town reporter trying to uncover the truth about Rutherford’s war “heroics.” A battle of wits ensues when Littleton travels with the team to get the scoop. Well, a battle of wit (Krasinski) and half-wit (Clooney).
If you want a taste of the films from the ’30s and ’40s, but you want a movie in color with actors that are still alive, see Leatherheads. Rated PG-13
Forever Strong – Okay, okay, so this movie isn’t about football. But we wouldn’t have football if it weren’t for rugby. Popular LDS director Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers) tells the story of the real-life Highland rugby team of Salt Lake City that has a record of 390-9 in its 32-year history. Rick Penning (Never Back Down) plays Sean Faris, a star rugby player who, after a run in with the law, gets sent to the juvenile detention center in Provo.
With good behavior and guidance from his counselor (Sean Astin) Sean is permitted to play for the Highland Rugby team and learn what it means to be “Forever Strong.” With his life in order, Sean leads his team into the Championship game against none other than his former team.
As you watch Forever Strong you will see many different landmarks since the movie was filmed in Salt Lake and Utah Counties. Coach Gelwix’s belief is “More important than building championship teams is building championship boys.” Rated PG-13. Opens Sept. 26.
Rudy – How can you review football movies and not mention Rudy? This is the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin). Rudy loves Notre Dame football and has a dream to play there someday. There are two big problems: His grades aren’t good enough to get into Notre Dame and he is too small to play football. After multiple attempts, Rudy is admitted to Notre Dame and thanks to much hard work and determination makes the football team. I won’t mention the ending, but after this movie, you’ll understand why every now and again people will chant “Rudy! Rudy!”
Sean Astin played Sam in Lord of the Rings and he was the main character in Goonies, but he will forever be remembered as RUDY. This is one of those inspiring, lump-in-the-throat kind of movies where if you don’t get choked up, you might not be human. Rated PG