The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.
Claude and Ellen are best friends who live in a not-so-nice area of New York. They're involved in the subculture of 90s youth, complete with drugs, live music, and homophobia. All is ... See full summary »
Filmed over four years, a portrait of up-and-coming British sprinters in training and competition on the eve of the 2012 Olympics, and a deeply personal account of their lives as they strive towards their dreams.
A high-school girl's first sexual experience is with another girl, and, along with her first broken heart, she must deal with her mother's reaction to her revelation that she is a lesbian and with ostracism at school.
1976. Chris Cahill and Torry Skinner are US national caliber track and field athletes, Chris in the 100 meter hurdles, and Torry in the pentathlon. Chris has the natural ability to be great but she doesn't possess the confidence or drive, while Torry, who has less natural ability, psychologically knows what it takes to be great, leading to Torry making the Olympic team finishing second in her event, while Chris has a disastrous Olympic trial. Torry can see the potential in Chris, and tries to convince her coach at Cal Poly, Terry Tingloff, to coach Chris, Terry who will only allow Chris to train with the team without his guidance in he only having seen her disastrous performance at the trials. Although not ideal in that no scholarship money is involved, Chris accepts the offer against the wishes of her father, who currently coaches her. In their time together, Chris and Torry embark on a relationship, each seeing in the other what each doesn't possess, their attraction thus sexual as ...Written by
Sporting events seen in this movie include such pentathlon events as the one hundred meter hurdles, the shot-put, high jump, long jump, and eight hundred meter long distance race. See more »
At 1:06:26, a blue shoe to the left of Chris' marker is no where near the marker, but at 1:06:42, it is next to the marker. See more »
All right, one thing ya gotta understand: I could've been a man's coach. Backfield coach, Oregon State: I had the job, I had the job, I actually had the job. You understand? I had the job. Ah, well. Coach of the year. I was coach of the year last year. You know what that means when you're a womens' coach? Jack shit. I mean I could have coached football. Do you actually think that Chuck Knoll has to worry that Franco Harris is gonna cry 'cause Terry Bradshaw won't talk to him? - Hmm? - Jack ...
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Mariel Hemingway stars in what is perhaps the most defining film of her career, a vehicle that displays her acting talents at what is probably her own 'personal best'.
In "PERSONAL BEST", Mariel is Chris Cahill, a young and attractive bi-sexual athlete competing at the Olympic Team Trials for the 1980 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles. Her character is defined as somewhat naive, but she is guided through her sexuality phase with the help of Tory Skinner (wonderfully played by Patrice Donnelly). Whether the two characters are lesbian or not is beside the point, what "PERSONAL BEST" tries to deal with is the hardship of having a relationship at a trying time in your life. In this case, both Chris and Tory are competing for a place in the Olympic Team and they both help each other emotionally and physically to achieve their goals.
The two girls both deal with sexual confusion which distracts them on and off the field. Their coach is played by Scott Glenn who plays a hard and despicable character who 'pushes' them too hard to achieve their personal best.
"PERSONAL BEST" is filled with unnecessary nudity including countless scenes inside a sauna where you get to see young female athletes baring all. There are also several explicit sex scenes involving Chris and Tory which would probably not be suitable for younger children. One questionable scene involves Chris and a male athlete/temporary love interest in a bizarre toilet scene that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie - but other than that, the rest of the film is quite inspirational.
When the movie isn't trying to be serious, there are some comedic moments including a scene where Chris asks Tory to 'pull her finger'. Another thing "PERSONAL BEST" successfully achieves is building a story around a 'lesbian relationship' without delving into silly stereo-types and cliché's that spoiled other films of the same time (ie. "WINDOWS" and "THE LONELY LADY").
When it all boils down to it, what drove Chris and Tory to achieve their personal best was not endless training and their physical attributes, but their love and friendship for each other which was something that would probably last forever. "PERSONAL BEST" is a film about athletics and it is also a love story.
Yes, Mariel Hemingway has starred in a lot of trash (ie. "LIPSTICK", "SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE", "BAD MOON") - but it is "PERSONAL BEST" which I remember her the most for. Patrice Connelly was also a very good actress, but she has since retired from acting after appearing in only two films. This movie brought back a lot of memories about the 70's and the 80's and how innocent love could be in times that weren't so troubled.
I highly recommend this film, not just for sports enthusiasts, but for also those who are seeking a romantic love story.
My rating - 8 out of 10
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