A lotta fun....though I'd never let him coach my daughters!
In many ways, "The Winning Season" is a bit like "The Bad News Bears" for the 21st century, though I certainly enjoyed this newer film much more. I draw the comparison because a rather crude drunk (Sam Rockwell) reluctantly takes over as coach of a rather bedraggled team--much like Walter Matthau in "The Bad News Bears".
The film begins with Rockwell working in the kitchen at a greasy spoon. It seems his life has spiraled out of control and he is now being given a chance at coaching once again. But, he's a drunk and his relationship with his ex-wife and daughter are a mess...and he seems to have zero people or coaching skills. How the heck can he pull together a team consisting of only six girls to make a winning season?
This is an inappropriate film. It's fill of inappropriate language and I'd hate to think of either of my daughters ever having a coach like this guy. But, it's odd because you do like the guy in an odd way--he's not all bad. And, the dialog is quite clever and funny--and filled with expletives I think of it as a guilty pleasure--and a somewhat clichéd one as well. But, it's still likable and clever and well worth seeing if just for Rockwell's strange portrayal.
Reviewed by intelearts7 / 10
My 349th Review: Sneaky lowball comedy...surprisingly good.....
Kind of Garden State with Basketball, a sneaky lowball story of a loser coach's shot of redemption with a girls' basketball team, the Lady Chargers, that is both very funny and also kind of effective on the drama front.
Everyone creates a low-fi vibe and just runs with it, small town values - we loved the comedy is in the small touches - and the timing - much of the comedy comes from the everyday conversations but just rings true.
If you like sports movies with a little more than just training and victory dances then this fits the bill well - it's well done at every step...
Reviewed by napierslogs7 / 10
The same sports story, but done with quality dramatic and comedic elements
At least "The Winning Season" knows that the whole down-on-his-luck coach and group of misfit girls basketball team who learn about life and winning together type of story has been done before. They did unfortunately follow the exact same formula, but with a hint of whimsy and self-awareness, it's above average for the genre.
Emma Roberts and the other girls comprising the team actually come across as real teenage girls. I found them cute and funny. As a big fan of Sam Rockwell, he seems to be the reason why this film is pretty good. He's basically a drunken asshole, very unlikable, but he completely draws you in so there's a real emotional connection for the dramatic elements. And as he has demonstrated before, his physical comedy antics are perfect making the comedy scenes pretty funny.
"The Winning Season" has been done many times before, but here they managed to do it without being cheesy, while providing quality scenes of drama and comedy. If you like the genre, it is certainly worth a look.