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Inspirational film fun for girls, boys, dads and Soccer Moms

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by spnadmin, May 22, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Inspirational film fun for girls, boys, dads and Soccer Moms

    Inspirational film fun for girls, boys, dads and Soccer Moms

    The weather is warming, which means children all over the island are digging their dusty soccer cleats out from under the bed. It's a seasonal ritual that continues to grow in popularity every year for both boys and girls in North America. Parents bring snacks and lawn chairs and children head out into the field to dribble their best dribble.

    Bend it Like Beckham (2002), about a young girl rejecting her traditional Sikh upbringing to pursue a professional soccer career, won awards at film festivals around the world for its positive message and honest portrayal of clashing generations and dreams. We've all heard of it, and it is well worth renting.

    One that may not be that familiar is Gracie (2007). It tells a fascinating story about the reality of American girl athletes prior to Title IX, an amendment made to the U.S. Education Act in 1972 that prohibited exclusion, based on gender, from any educational program or activity. The amendment had a significant impact on academic athletics.

    Gracie plays out on the fields of Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., in 1978 before the amendment had really had an impact. (Boomer parents will love the soundtrack. It brings back memories of being young and beautiful and fearless.)

    Gracie (Carly Schroeder) is grieving the death of her soccer-star brother in a car accident.

    To help herself heal, she decides she will become the first female soccer player on her school's very macho team and she asks her former-soccer-player dad (Dermot Mulroney) to train her. It's a bumpy road, indeed, with so many attitudes to change. Her mother (Elisabeth Shue) watches from the sidelines, at first with trepidation, and then as an outspoken advocate for Gracie's cause. This is a film for tweens and teens and grown-ups. Many will be surprised by how backwards thinking was only 30 years ago.

    Shaolin Soccer (2001) is not Gracie. Shot in China, it tells the tale of an impoverished and unemployed young man, trained in Shaolin Kung Fu, who wants to promote his skills by marrying the martial arts with the game of soccer. He convinces a down-and-out former soccer star to become his coach and he seeks out his former Shaolin Kung Fu schoolmates to convince them to join in his adventure.

    Shaolin Soccer is a fantastical, sometimes silly, occasionally scatological romp rampant with special effects and much trickery with ropes and pulleys. There is absolutely nothing subtle about the entire experience, but that's half the fun. The unlikely soccer team eventually triumphs over Team Evil, I kid you not, and the young man marries his true love, a stunning, Shaolin-trained soccer player in her own right. Younger boys may get a kick out of this one.

    Soccer Mom (2008) will most likely appeal to the girls in the family. The gentle comedy with the wholesome message about dealing with loss and the importance of family is predictable, but pleasant. A young girl (Emily Osment) is grieving the death of her soccer-coach father. (A death in the family would appear to be a sub-theme of this column.) She is angry at her mother because mom was in the car with dad when the accident happened, but only mom survived.

    Mom (the statuesque Missi Pyle) is desperate to re-connect with her daughter, so she disguises herself as a famous Italian male soccer star who, for inexplicable reasons, has agreed to coach a girl's soccer team in small-town America. Just go with it, people.

    Of course, the real soccer star shows up for the big match and much physical humour ensues.

    A harmless and enjoyable experience for girls who love the game and the parents who are happy they do.
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