Review Date: October 03, 1999
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: David E. Kelley and Sean O'Byrne
Producers: Howard Baldwin, Karen Baldwin, David E. Kelley
Russell Crowe as John Biebe
Hank Azaria as Charles Danner
Burt Reynolds as Judge Burns
Not only was this film able to convey this atmosphere convincingly with many sharply written characters all grieving on some level or another, but even more importantly, it was able to resonate the importance and deeply ingrained feeling of love for a sport, which allowed us to feel for these characters, and obviously, root for them in the big game. You should know that this film does not feature a lot of hockey play. In fact, I would say that it is more of a character-driven film based around a common "obsession" which happens to be the game of hockey. There are funny moments, dramatic moments, touching moments, and obviously moments of fun hockey. I enjoyed all of the performances in the film, except for the Burt Reynolds character who seemed a little too narrowly drawn for my taste, but kudos to Russell Crowe and the rest of the gang for portraying these folks as real human beings, instead of stick figures from the minds of Hollywood execs. There is also a cute cameo near the end of the film (Read the little known facts if you really want to know who it is) which seemed soooo appropriate for this movie. Some may find this film corny and derivative, but God help me if I didn't enjoy its every moment. Another unnamed critic hailed this film to the "Rocky of hockey", and despite the complete banality of that statement, I would have to agree in respect to its intent. If you're in the mood for a feel-good, character-driven drama featuring some good performances, funny and tender moments, then this is one that you should definitely check out.