Seventeen-year-old Farley has led a sheltered life, raised on a diet of home schooling, organic living and trips to the art gallery. To his parents' dismay, Farley loves to play shinny with the local rink rats. To their even greater dismay, Farley is scouted and signed by the owner (Stephen McHattie) of a junior league team, where he becomes an instant star. But Farley discovers that stardom comes with a price-including the expectation to fight on the ice. Throw in a changing relationship with his best friend (Allie MacDonald), and Farley finds himself losing his way. Written by
Farley Gordon, whom I kept confusing with Charlie Gordon from Flower
for Algernon, is one of the most skilled hockey player ever to grace
the rink. The trouble is that his parents are against team sports and
it takes some convincing for him to get on a team. He dazzles everyone
with his stick work and constant scoring technique.
Blah...I'm bored typing out the plot to the film already. Score: A
Hockey Musical is a poor mix of bad writing and misguided talent. It's
a sad attempt at being patriotic and cute. Blending the nation's
favourite sport with song and dance numbers is walking a thin ice, to
make matters worse the songs and lyrics are terrible. None of the songs
are memorable and every single one sounds exactly the same. This is a
feature production and it was outdone by a television show about
vampires and demons ten years earlier.
Canadian actor Stephen McHattie shows up at the beginning and recruits
the young kid. The character is made to seem like he is important and
will be involved somewhat later on in the film. Nope, the character
almost disappears other than some random appearance here and there for
show. Maybe McHattie figured out what kind of film he was in and
quickly tried to get out. The inclusion of Nelly Furtado is a joke and
was just a way to help get more Canadian funds in the mix. Look
everyone, we got a big Canadian singer in our musical, that means
Telefilm can feed us more money.
The romance between the two lead characters is weak and uneven. Not
once did I ever buy these two would fall in love, let alone were best
friends since infancy. Separate, the actors do well enough, together
they drown each other out. Bad chemistry leads to a boring and
uninteresting film. The conflict on the ice is mostly about fighting
and the hesitation that Gordon has to it. The team doesn't have an
enemy team, though we are made to believe the first team they play will
make some kind of appearance again. The team never seems to loose
either, which makes us wonder where is the real conflict? Do I care if
the kid doesn't want to fight? You have a hockey film here with no
hockey. Where is the excitement? The drama? The thrills? Everything a
hockey movie should have, it's missing here. Hockey takes a major
backseat to the musical.
The musical numbers, as I stated before are boring, uninteresting and
never catchy. Some of the lyrics are vomit worthy," Hockey without
fighting is like Kraft Dinner without cheese/ It's still pasta, but the
palate it won't please." Uhh.....what? These songs needed to be
reworked over again before they made it past the script stage. The
final game, is again, an afterthought to the last song of the film. If
the film had concentrated a bit more on hockey and added some dramatic
elements to it, it would have been a moderate success, instead of an
As a Canadian and an aspiring Canadian filmmaker, films like this are
not only an embarrassment, but it makes things harder for us. The film
is jam packed with Canadian content to help get the funding needed. I
get that, but please, make a good film. It all starts at the script
stage and this is where the film should have stayed. I can only dream
of the film I could have made with my film school colleagues, if I were
given a fraction of the budget this had. The film looks great, but it's
because of a film like this that we are more known for documentaries .
Name some Canadian filmmakers that didn't go over to the states and
make a career. Paul Gross is the most notable one, some small fare
people like Don McKellar are nice but he is not a house hold name. Paul
Gross is even a stretch. If you want to bring some kind of film
industry to Canada from the States (which has sucked away most of our
talent) then you have to stop making films like this.
This film claims to be a comedy, but it's not funny. It has comedic,
dramatic and musical beats...it misses them all. This is a plea to
those who produced this film, contact me. This is an open plea, give me
a fraction of this budget and I'll give you a better movie. Sorry, but
the truth hurts.
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