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To the Mat (2011)

TV Movie  -  Comedy | Romance  -  17 August 2011 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 61 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Centers on a a laid-back ex-wrestler who is trying to keep his family's down-and-out southern wrestling school above water with the help of an uptight New York consultant.

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Title: To the Mat (TV Movie 2011)

To the Mat (TV Movie 2011) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Aaron Stocuim (as Rick Schroder)
...
Janice Bailor
...
Jordy
...
Piper / Peaches
...
Wade
...
Kevin
...
Mildred Bailor
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Messenger
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Cecile Closum
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Iris Dumont
...
Stanton Dumont
...
Talbot
...
Elizabeth Sutcliffe
...
Mack
...
Jordy Junior
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Storyline

Centers on a a laid-back ex-wrestler who is trying to keep his family's down-and-out southern wrestling school above water with the help of an uptight New York consultant.

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

17 August 2011 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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User Reviews

 
CMT Movie Grapples with being a Romantic Comedy
18 August 2011 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Ricky Schroeder does a pretty good job coming to grips with the character of a guy who couldn't quite make the big time as a pro wrestler so he's running the family's small-time wrestling show and training school with his brother. And like many wrestling businesses, they are mired in piles of bills and disorganization.

His mother hires in a business consultant to help get them on track. She's a very Manhattan type who winces at eating with her fingers, uses a ton of hand sanitizer, etc. I often wonder if East Coasters are really like this.

But, suffice it to say, dealing with the boys club attitude in the practice ring and trying to get a handle on the struggling show - she opens up. Also, she finds there's more to his character than body slams and chair shots.

I admit I watched because I'm a wrestling fan and I was at least happy that the film didn't go kayfabe silly. The story shows wrestling as a work but was respectful, even presenting an argument for the efforts of wrestlers (maybe a little too much effort on that).

As a romantic comedy, it wasn't really funny and the situations themselves were not inherently humorous - just a few bits of banter and some montage gags. I think it was trying too hard to not show wrestling itself as funny and the film comes out a little too serious.

During their times together, the consultant sees Ricky's character in new light and not just a jerk jock. Meanwhile the school is under pressure to sell-out to a chain of training schools run by a typical jerk-weed. He goes to extent of stiffing (hitting with full force) one of their guys into the hospital. Not that stiffing doesn't happen on occasion, but the extent they make this guy a villain is a bit over the top.

In the end, Ricky must put the tights back on to defend the family honor and to keep the school, while she cheers from ringside after discovering the villain's real motivations for wanting it.

Not something to rush out and DVR but I admire Ricky's efforts, a good solid supporting cast and better writing than I would have expected for such an effort. Not to say that script couldn't have used some tweaks that didn't push the city vs. country attitude so much. The arguments made in the script to say 'hey wrestling's not so bad' come out heavy-handed.

As a wrestling fan, I can say that film was almost too nice to the business but definitely not insulting to the fans.


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