20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.5 Stars - Surprisingly Enjoyable, "Feel Good" Sports Drama,
This review is from: Believe In Me (DVD)
This is a charming, feel-good sports film based on the real life of Coach Jim Keith. I believe that the movie is loosely based on Coach Keith's first coaching position in the 1960s. He showed up to coach boys' basketball and was assigned to coach girls' basketball instead. To add insult to injury, the girls were one of the worst teams in the state of Oklahoma and were not used to having a regular training regimen. I am not sure how many of the subplots in the film were based on fact or were entirely fabricated, but these secondary stories really added to the main story of the girls' struggle to win the state championships against all odds. This, like so many good sports drama films, is a movie that uses a sports team to tell a story about a place and a time and is really about so much more than basketball. It also tells the story of girls' sports not being as important as boys' sports, school district power struggles, domineering parents refusing to let their girls play sports, young marriages & pregnancies, adopting children and more. I felt that the director did a fine job setting the scene for this film and everything seemed very believable.
The movie has a very mellow, easygoing pace, which I felt represented the 1960s setting well. The beginning was a little slow for me, but it picked up not too far in as I got involved in the characters lives. I wish that there had been a little bit more distinction between the players as I had a hard time keeping them straight. This was difficult as there was not real superstar player on the team so there wasn't even a few players that I could keep track of. Still, the girls all seemed to do a decent job and really got into their roles with the costumes, hair and make-up. The music was lovely and it was fun to hear some of the older songs again. I wish that they had incorporated the music better, though, as it always seemed that a song started playing out of the blue and that is what I would focus on and then it would stop rather abruptly. There is so much good music from the time period that I feel they could have woven it in and out of the story a bit better.
If you like feel-good dramas, sports dramas or biopics, then give this little charmer a chance. There are not many girls' sports movies out there, especially ones where they start from such lowly beginnings and are able to achieve so much. A great empowering film for families to watch together.