An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.
Bright, well-educated, handsome Conor O'Neill's promising future was wrecked by his gambling addiction, which dragged him into heavy drinking and petty crime, but worst of all, the stifling grip of loan-shark bookies. Desperate for a loan, he accepts to stand in for lawyer friend Jimmy Fleming as coach of a Chicago black 'projects' ghetto Little League baseball team. His sense of pride, becoming the boys' sole idol, and competition, plus their attractive teacher, motivate Conor. But the crushing loan problem rather requires leaving town. Written by
I want to start by saying that this movie was actually a pleasant surprise. Knowing that this was a movie based on a true story, made with Keanu Reeves and a lot of kid-actors in it, I honestly feared the worst. But after watching it I must say that it really wasn't all that bad.
Sure, the story is as predictable as you can get them in Hollywood. With a desperate white guy who is forced into coaching a children's sporting team from a rough black neighborhood, you already know perfectly what to expect and of course he will only keep doing his job because of a beautiful lady at first (the kids school teacher), but in the end he will learn the true value of these kids' will to win and to make something of their lives, so they can get out of the neighborhood. No the movie never gets far away from the stereotypes. But somehow it didn't bother me all that much for once.
This is probably one of the best performances I've ever seen from Reeves (except for his roles in "The Matrix" and "The Gift") and despite the fact that this movie isn't a comedy, the dramatic story is relieved with some nice humorous touches. I don't know anything about baseball and normally I don't care about movies with baseball as the subject either, but for once I kept watching.
As a conclusion I would like to say that if you are looking for an original movie, you better start looking somewhere else, but if you want to see a drama that exceeds the average Disney boundaries, you might want to give it a try. As I already said, I was pleasantly surprised by it and that's why I give this movie a 7/10.
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