Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson, Chris Penn
Lisa: I want to go to college and study music, but we can’t afford it. And nobody in Ampipe gets a music scholarship…just football scholarships. So I’ll be a grocery clerk. I’m stuck here, Stef. I haven’t even got a chance. I’m 17 years old…it’s not f***in’ fair…
A high school senior on the football team hopes to impress college scouts in a big game against a top team. If he can get a football scholarship, Stef (Cruise) can get out of the mill town that his family struggles to get by in and go to college to become an engineer. Unfortunately, his own attitude, and a bitter coach, might stand in the way.
As far as cheesy 80s movies go, this one wasn’t too bad. Maybe the acting is a little suspect here and there, but everybody’s trying their best, especially Cruise. He has the difficult job of convincing us that he’s somehow big enough to play football. Though, at least the movie acknowledges that he’s too small to go very far. His goal is to play at a small school with a good engineering program. Believable enough.
I liked the fact that his girlfriend, Lisa (Thompson), wasn’t a cheerleader, but was actually in the band of all things. Good to see the band chicks getting some recognition. It’s also good to see Lisa with at least some semblance of a story of her own, even if in the end she’s just there to stand by her man and look pretty. Don’t worry Lea, you’ll go to space camp in a couple years and actually get to launch into space! But that’s a whole different movie…
I thought they did a good job in the movie getting across the feelings of fear these kids experience as they hope for a way out of town…and the despair they feel when they realize they’re stuck there. They’ve got one chance to get out, despite the older people in the town often telling them they have no chance at all, but one mistake – like an unplanned pregnancy, in one case – can cancel out all the plans they had for their future. It’s pretty heavy stuff for what starts out like a somewhat raunchy teen sports comedy.
Still, the comedy early on doesn’t work very well, most of the relationship drama is pretty standard stuff, and we’re subjected to Tom Cruise dancing…in a locker room…with several half-clothed men. It’s not a pleasant scene. But other than that, not a bad movie.
Play the ball, not the man…apparently…
10 – .7 for a couple suspect performances – 2.5 for some lame comedy and standard drama – .3 for the ending being a little too perfect = 6.5