As a stay-at-home mom, I don't get out to the movies very often, so here's My Better-Late-Than-Never Movie Review of We Are Marshall. It opened in December of 2007, but I watched it two nights ago on Movie Central. Boohyah. Take that Roger Ebert!
We Are Marshall, starring the two Matthews (McConaughey and Fox), is surprisingly good. Maybe I was in the throws of motherhood and completely missed the press on this one, but I don't recall hearing a word about it last year. I'm not quite sure why it was overlooked, because I honestly liked it. Perhaps a spoiler warning isn't necessary here (because if you cared, you would have already seen it) but here's what happens:
A plane carrying the revered Marshall University football team (along with coaches, press and other prominent citizens) crashes at the beginning of the movie and sends the entire town and - gasp! - the university football program into totally disarray. The town is devastated and the future of the football program is in jeopardy.
Now, I honestly thought with a plot like this that the entire movie would be all about football (yawn). But, well, actually it was. And actually, I didn't mind. Now I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but I couldn't care less about football. I don't even know who's in the playoffs this year (isn't the Superbowl coming up soon?) I know the basics of the game, but basically I'm not interested.
So. About the movie. I thought the footballness of it would turn me off, but in fact, the movie is so serious and heartfelt that I started crying as soon as the plane crashed and didn't stop until the movie was over. Now you may be thinking "two hours of crying and she liked this movie?" Well, in my world, two hours of crying over someone else's sad existence instead of my own is a really great night. I love crying. It's totally cathartic. The more sobs the better. I felt wonderful afterwards. (Don't even get me started on United 93. Talk about a sad story. Crying isn't even the word for it. Convulsing hysteria was more like it...)
But back to We Are Marshall. Other than the crying, the movie was quite good. It featured all the bone crunching hits, tight-end slapped butts and predictable nail biting hail mary QB throws to the wide receiver's outstretched hands in the end zone with one second left in the game type of stuff you would expect from a football movie. (See? I know a little bit about football!) But, it also featured some pretty poignant scenes and a compelling plot. I was really rooting for the Matthews and the rag-tag team of post-plane-crash-footballers they put together. It also didn't hurt that the movie was based on a true story to really pull on my heartstrings. The Matthews were well cast and their acting was satisfactory. The story was so good and the script was so inspiring that I was able to overlook some of the cheesy motivational speeches and the predictable pep-talks that it had to offer. I wasn't expecting much, and I got more than I was expecting. For the cry factor alone, I really liked We Are Marshall.
In keeping with the football theme, here are My Better-Late-Than-Never Movie Review post game stats for We Are Marshall:
Sexy Guys 2
Cute Babes 1
Old Farts 2
Used Kleenexes 10
Bitten Nails 2
Good Laughs 0
Weak Giggles 0
Exciting Car Chases 0
Deep Kisses 1
Sex Scenes 0
Marching Bands 1
Predictable Locker Room Pre-Game Speeches 1
Unpredictable Cemetery Pre-Game Speeches 1
Inspirational Chants of the Phrase "We are! Marshall!" by an Individual 1
Inspirational Chants of the Phrase "We are! Marshall!" by a Huge Mob 1
Suspenseful Will-They-Win-The-Game-or-Not Endings 1