Football coach Harold Jones befriends Radio, a mentally-challenged man who becomes a student at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina. Their friendship extends over several decades, where Radio transforms from a shy, tormented man into an inspiration to his community. Written by
Most of the fans in the stands during the games were students and fans from Goose Creek High School, a school in the Charleston suburb of Goose Creek (about 45 minutes from Walterboro, where the movie was filmed). They were chosen because the school uses the same colors as TL Hanna. Goose Creek and Hanna met in the 2008 state playoffs, allowing many of the extras in the movie to meet the real Radio. See more »
When Radio looks into the ornaments, a camera is reflected in the close-up. See more »
[at the final confrontation in the barbershop]
"... but the truth is,we're not the one been teachin' Radio, Radio's the one been teachin' us - cause the way he treats us all the time is the way we wish we treated each other even part of the time."
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During the end credits, clips show the real James Robert Kennedy at Hanna High School football games in the present day. See more »
This was unusual: a modern-day film which was ultra-nice. In fact, it was so nice it bordered on being too hard to believe in parts. As I watching this based-on-a-real-life story, I was thinking, "nobody is this nice, this tolerant." Mainly, I was referring to Ed Harris' role as "Coach Jones." I think they went a little overboard on his character, but that's better than the reverse: showing him worse than what he was in real life. Odd to see Harris playing the role, too, since he has a long resume of playing nasty, profane characters.
Anyway, I never complain about a nice, feel-good film, and it is nice to see a bunch of well- meaning, kind people. Those folks direct their friendship, love and compassion to "James Kennedy," better known as "Radio," a mentally slow high school kid played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The story takes place in the mid 1970s in South Carolina. Gooding does a nice job with the role, too. However, like Sean Penn's role of a mentally-challenged man in "I Am Sam," an hour-and-a-half of a character like this is plenty. After that, the loudness of those guys gets tiresome to hear.
Note: It was interesting in one of the documentaries on this DVD to find out that, in real life, in took years for "Radio" to make his transformation, not months as shown in the film.
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