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Anna Mae Wills
The story of high school soccer prodigy Sara Davis as she juggles life, love and sports on her way to becoming the youngest player ever selected to the U.S. National Team. Conflicts arise as Sara deals with her over-zealous sports dad, a free-spirited boyfriend and her hectic existence in the social quicksand commonly known as high school. Blends comedy, romance, and soccer footage. Written by
15-year-old Sara Davis has a chance to make the national soccer team, something even Mia Hamm didn't do at that age. She already plays on a U-19 team (and focuses on making herself look good rather than on the team), as well as working out with a team coached by her father Gil.
The U-19 team is on its way to the California state championship; coach Laurie was a player on one of Gil's college teams. Gil pushes Sara hard and insists she make soccer her no. 1 priority, even though Sara isn't all that enthusiastic and could have other interests. and one drawback to making the national team--they practice in Florida, 3000 miles from home.
Sara has no social life outside of soccer, though she does have a quirky best friend Tutti who has weird taste in clothes. The boys don't think she is pretty, but she is. She just doesn't try hard to show it. There is one boy Josh who is an old-school photographer for the school paper and yearbook--he develops photographs in a dark room. He has been spending a lot of time taking Sara's picture, and there is a dance coming up. Speaking of dancing, Sara's dance teacher thinks Sara should audition for a school production. But how will Sara find the time? In addition to everything else she works at an ice cream place with the annoying Doogie.
But somehow Sara tries to make it all work. Meanwhile, her father never seems to be at home anymore. It is her mother Julia who is actually taking care of her, and Julia feels Sara shouldn't push so hard if soccer isn't what she wants. Gil disagrees since one doesn't get to the Olympics without a total commitment.
There is nothing that special here. It's an enjoyable movie and Sara is easy to like. The romantic stuff is pleasant most of the time, but like a WB/CW teen drama this movie has its depressing moments with equally depressing music. And along with the comedy, there is some drama resulting from jealousy and rumors.
On the subject of music, for someone like me there is bland synthesized background music, but most of the so-called music is designed for the young people, and often quite loud. One positive is the fact so much of the music seems to be from when I was in high school, though it is still loud.
I know Scott Patterson mainly as the likable curmudgeon from "Gilmore Girls". Here, there's not much to like about him at first. He is driven and lacks personality. But that changes later.
One relationship I would like to have seen more of is that of Regina and her father. Regina also has the potential to go far as a soccer player, if Sara will stop trying to be the star. Regina's Papá cares more about her brothers than her, and she wishes he would pay more attention to her. But he is a loving father and I can see this from only a few lines.
Lalaine and Daryl Sabara stand out from the rest of the cast, but for different reasons. Tutti is merely quirky but likable, while Doogie is just plain annoying, but enjoyable to watch at the same time.
This is a family film with nothing offensive. It's nothing groundbreaking but still a pleasant experience.
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